Mintel: Coffee can boost appeal to young consumers

by Staff
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CHICAGO — Despite the fact that 68% of Americans have at least one cup of coffee a day, sales in recent years have been relatively unchanged, according to market researcher Mintel.

The segment is largely driven by older consumers, but appealing to the younger coffee consumer would help boost the market.

“Young adults are somewhat more likely than over-55s to associate negative health consequences with coffee consumption,” said Bill Patterson, senior analyst at Mintel. “Among young adults in particular, understanding the choice between energy drinks and coffee needs significant marketing focus. If coffee companies can’t convert these younger drinkers to everyday users, long-term growth may suffer.”

The over-55 segment is the fastest growth segment of coffee drinkers. While 40% of 18-to-24-year-olds believe coffee improves their concentration, only 27% drink coffee on a daily basis. Younger coffee drinkers also prefer sweetened coffee drinks over plain coffee and fewer 18-to-24-year olds like the taste of coffee on its own compared with 45-to-54-year-olds.

“Another obstacle coffee companies face when targeting a younger demographic is that they often prefer to visit cafes for their caffeine fix,” Mr. Patterson said. “Offering products that are similar to those found in popular cafes but can easily be prepared at home or at the office could prove successful with 18-to-24-year-old reluctant drinkers.”

In addition, only 22% of 18-to-24-year-olds like to have a cup of coffee with them when running errands while 46% said they like to relax with a cup of coffee.

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