4 New Ways To Connect With Millennial Coffee Consumers

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Millennials have a lot of feelings about their coffee.

Coffee consumption and purchase decisions among the youths are driven by emotions, according to new research from NCA member S&D Coffee and Tea and research firm Datassential.

“For them, coffee is not just a drink, it’s an experience, so descriptors that are solely focused on the bean (such as “bold” or “Arabica”) or basic needs (such as “fresh” or “convenient”) only address one component of the picture,” S&D reports. [Read the full study PDF.]

A big part of this picture is consuming sustainable coffee: 45% of participants say that they think more positively of purveyors who sell a sustainably sourced product, and a quarter claim that they would go “out of their way” to get it.

Yet data from the 2016 NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends shows that 28% of coffee drinkers don’t know if coffee is grown in a sustainable way. (Don’t try to trick them, though – Millennial customers are savvy and suspicious of unsupported claims.)

The market is changing fast, and many companies face unprecedented challenges. But this is also an exciting time for the coffee industry to tap into our potential. We have new opportunities to reach consumers through communication, passion, and innovation.

So how can you connect with the next generation of coffee lovers? Here’s what the latest market research says.  Continue reading

What Are We Drinking? Understanding Coffee Consumption Trends

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America’s love affair with coffee is more complicated than ever before.

Millennials are changing the world of coffee – one purchase (or app) at a time. And it’s more than just the mason jars in the local coffee house, as shown by the data in the National Coffee Association’s 2016 National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) report, which has followed America’s evolving relationship with the beverage for the past 67 years.

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Optimizing Office Coffee

By Daniel Granderson, Packaged Facts
Twitter: @packaged_facts

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86% of full-time employees drink coffee — and for most of these employees, coffee is a daily habit, according to Office Coffee Service in the U.S.: Market Trends and Opportunities (March 2015), a new report by Packaged Facts.

Among daily coffee drinkers, per Packaged Facts consumer survey data, 75% had drunk coffee at work within the past seven days, including 65 million (54%) who make coffee at work and 61 million (50%) who bring coffee to work.

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Infographic: What is Sustainability Worth?

Sustainability is crucial to the future of coffee. Not only is it necessary to protect our environment, but new research shows that socially responsible practices will also benefit your bottom line.

According to the NCA’s National Coffee Drinking Trends report, 16% of consumers limit their coffee consumption because they are concerned about the waste it creates, and 17% are concerned about the carbon footprint of the java they drink.

Consumers Are Willing to Pay a Price for Sustainability Infographic

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It’s Time to See Millennials Differently

By Kyra Auffermann, Digital Content Manager, NCA

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They’re narcissistic, delusional, and entitled.

Yet Millennials are also “increasingly acting as the agents of change in society … providing the energy, creative ideas and determination to drive reform,” according to a 2012 report from the United Nations.

…Wait – what?

“We should all be a little more like Millennials,” said Todd Metrokin, Ogilvy’s vice president of creative strategy, during his presentation “The Millennial Mind: Insights for a Smarter Brand Strategy” at the National Coffee Association’s 2014 Coffee Summit in Boston on October 30.

And he may be on to something.

This coveted 18 to 32 demographic controls 21 percent of discretionary spending in the US, which could present an exciting opportunity for the coffee industry.

According the NCA’s report, “Coffee Across Generations,” 78 percent of millennials said that they have consumed coffee within the last year – a number likely to rise as the demographic matures. Specialty coffee drinks are especially popular with this demographic, a trend supported both through market research data and the overwhelming popularity of latte art on Instagram.

So how can your brand reach the Millennial market?

The first thing to do is get out of the way.

Traditionally, brands sought to retain control over their messages, but Metrokin says that Millennials want more opportunities to engage. This requires genuine conversations versus blasting out one-way marketing messages.

Remember that the group is driven by creative ideas and the opportunity to drive change. “Millennials believe that organizations do not listen to them [and] don’t provide an opportunity to make an impact,” Metrokin explains.

The key factor in overcoming this key cultural tension is authenticity, which Metrokin defines as “people talking to people.” You need to convey a consistent set of core values while responding in a way that is relevant and speaks directly to your audience.

That means that you have to communicate with Millennials as individuals, rather than one homogenous herd.

It may seem terrifying at first. But by meeting Millennials where they are and embracing their new culture of innovation, you can position your organization to lead change and transform the future of the coffee industry.