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Canadians are mega-coffee demons

0006_Knapp_YFM Sept 2014_Cafe a go go
  • Every year Canadians consume 2.1 billion servings of coffee
  • Changing consumer preferences have led to a decline in out-of-home consumption
  • While serving numbers have declined, visits to coffee shops have remained unchanged
  • This suggests consumers are looking for options when placing their coffee orders

Canadians love their coffee. Every year, we consume 2.1 billion servings of the caffeinated beverage; however, changing consumer preferences coupled with the popularity of in-home brewing devices such as single-serve machines have led to a decline in out-of-home consumption, according to The NPD Group, a leading global information company.

Ongoing foodservice market research from NPD’s Consumer Reports on Eating Share Trends®  reveals that out-of-home coffee servings have declined year-over-year by more than 3 per cent.

“Consumers are constantly looking for ways to save money and spend less,” says Robert Carter, executive director at The NPD Group. “Furthermore, brewing at home is becoming more convenient and more cost effective as single-serve devices become more popular.”

Consumers Looking For Alternative Offerings

When Canadians do make out-of-home purchases they are most likely to reach for a cup of traditional hot brewed coffee (77 per cent of servings), in comparison to hot specialty coffee (14 per cent of servings), or iced specialty coffee (9 per cent of servings). However, coffee-craving Canadians are beginning to become more adventurous when it comes to their purchases. Over the last four years, hot brewed coffee servings have declined at a rate of 2 per cent whereas hot specialty coffee servings have grown by 4 per cent and iced specialty coffee servings have surged by 8 per cent, finds NPD’s CREST® foodservice market research.

Interestingly, while the number of annual servings of hot brewed coffee has declined, the number of annual visits to coffee shops has remained relatively unchanged. This suggests that consumers are beginning to alter their purchasing habits – a trend that has influenced some operators to begin experimenting with different types of offerings including wine, beer, and non-coffee alternatives.

“While we are certainly seeing a shift away from out-of-home consumption of traditional hot brewed coffee, it’s also clear that consumer preferences are changing as servings of hot specialty coffee and iced specialty coffee have increased,” says Carter. “And while consumers can easily brew traditional coffee products in their homes, coffeehouses definitely have an advantage when it comes to specialty coffees and iced coffees. Not to mention coffee shops also provide an enticing, social atmosphere that is attractive to many people looking for more of an experience when enjoying a cup of Joe.”

The Growing Impact of Millennials and Females

While Boomers remain the biggest consumers of hot brewed coffee (37 per cent of servings) Millennials increased their consumption by 6 per cent in 2014. The data also suggests that Millennials consume 1 of every 3 servings of hot specialty coffee, while females reign supreme when it comes to consumption of hot specialty coffee (65 per cent of all servings) and iced specialty coffee (71 per cent of total servings).