What Upsiide Tells Us About Coffee Production and Consumer Perception


By Michael Edwards, Dig Insights

Upsiide is a new idea screening app that is inspired by Tinder. Designed by Dig Insights (the experts behind the NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends Report), the mobile platform connects companies to real-time consumer feedback and powerful analytics.

The concept sounds complicated, but it’s simple to use. Here’s how it works:

Survey respondents using the app are shown an idea (a potential claim, a new beverage idea, a packaging idea, a branding idea a positioning idea, etc.). The idea can be expressed with any combination of text, images, and/or video. The respondent swipes right or left to like or dislike the idea, or can request more information. Once two ideas are liked, they are paired head-to-head for the respondent to indicate which concept they prefer most. The winning concept is advanced to the next round of trade-off.

The NCA used Upsiide to test how consumers react to coffee production information, including certifications, information about the farms where the coffee is grown, information about the coffee strain used in the product, etc.

So, what does Upsiide tell us about coffee production information?

The Upsiide scores that are used to rank the claims combine two measures:

  • Interest (the percent who swiped right on each claim)
  • Tradeoff (the percent who chose each claim in the subsequent tradeoff question)

When scores are broken down, we can see if claims perform better on one measure over others.


The claims “Grown on farms that treat workers well,” “Grown in an environmentally sustainable way,” and “Supports the communities in which the coffee is produced” all perform well. These are not formal certifications. This indicates an opportunity to breakthrough without formal certification. It also highlights an opportunity for certifications to clearly communicate a benefit to the people who are growing the coffee.

At the same time, “blended coffee” and “coffee produced from a single origin” are both compelling. Both of these messages tell consumers something about the beans that they are buying.

Of the certifications, Fair Trade, Organic, and Rainforest Alliance are most positively received.

Made with “100% Arabica” beans is slightly more popular than “100% Robusta”, but the gap is not massive. Consumers may be responding to the “100%” as much as to “Arabica” vs. “Robusta.”


Other key claims findings from Upsiide research include:

  • The claim, “Grown on farms that treat workers well,” is a strong performer across groups, but is strongest among consumers aged 55+.
  • “Supports the communities in which the coffee is produced” is also strong among the 55+ age cohort, as well as consumers living in the Midwest.
  • Residents of the Midwest value the environmental sustainability of their coffee more vs. other regions.
  • Apart from the claim, “Donates a percent of proceeds to a charitable cause,” altruistic claims perform better among women than men.
  • Men are place more emphasis on bean type (Made with 100% Arabica beans and Made with 100% Robusta beans) vs. women.
  • Males are most likely to be attracted to Shade Grown and Utz certifications, which are less appealing and competitively vulnerable in trade-off scenarios.


Interested in Upsiide?

Upsiide offers companies a fast, cost-effective way to target consumers and getcustomized market insights. NCA members are eligible for a 10% discount on their own customized Upsiide idea screening. For more information, visit their website or contact Michael Edwards at michael@diginsights.com.


Learn more about NCA coffee market research, and don’t miss Michael Edwards’ keynote session at the NCA Convention 2018 in New Orleans, March 15-17.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s