Coffee has long been a morning perk and an afternoon pick-me-up, but consumer preferences constantly evolve, and coffee is no exception. Today, coffee drinkers are increasingly turning to “ready-to-drink”—RTD—coffee packaged in formats that fit their busy, on-the-go lifestyle, as well as experimenting with new flavors and posting their passion for a good cup of coffee on social media.
Here’s what the landscape of preferences looks like according to today’s coffee consumer:
RTD: Ready-to-Drink or Ready to Dominate?
Ready-to-Drink formats spell success for coffee brands. The RTD segment accounts for less than a quarter of the market share in 2018, but shows the most growth, increasing 31% between 2016-2018.
Better-for-You in a Bottle
Consumers turn to RTD coffee for more than low/high caffeine and/or sugar. In RTD coffees, consumers seek a variety of health-enhancing additives and benefits, looking for things like:
-Helps me relax
-Promotes brain health
Meet Me for #Coffee?
-Coffee has an 87% passion intensity score on social media
-There are over 91 million images tagged #coffee on Instagram
-By 2pm, there are over 45k mentions of coffee on social media
Pushing the Flavor Boundaries
Consumers are interested in expanding their coffee palate beyond the usual While consumers favor vanilla, hazelnut, chocolate and rich dessert and seasonal flavors, they've expressed interest in expanding their coffee palate beyond the usual classics. Unique flavors of interest include:
What Makes Coffee Premium?
58% of consumers list superior taste as the #1 qualifier for "premium coffee."
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