Industry News | March 30, 2012

SBUX, Dunkin' Appeal to In-Home Coffee Drinkers

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A new study found that American consumers who drink coffee at home rarely venture out to coffee shops or quick serves for their coffee. They are, however, willing to bring the big coffee brands into their homes.

The QSRdna study from CustomersDNA, a marketing and research consulting firm, found that 61 percent of consumers who frequently drink coffee at home never visit a retail coffee shop or quick serve for coffee.

However, about 15 percent of in-home coffee consumers who don’t visit a quick serve purchase Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts branded coffee at a grocery store or other retail outlet.

“What was interesting is how much the brands like Starbucks and Dunkin’ have really established themselves as home coffee brands,” says Dave Jenkins, a partner at CustomersDNA. “Obviously they’re very popular with people who visit them for prepared coffee in their stores, but they’re very popular with a big chunk of the coffee consumers who never go out to them for just a cup of coffee.”

Jenkins says Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have a lot of brand equity that they are able to leverage in the licensing space, and that they are considered more premium options than other in-home coffee brands like Maxwell House or Folgers.

The QSRdna study also found that only 6 percent of frequent in-home coffee drinkers regularly get coffee from a quick serve or coffee shop. Meanwhile, nearly half of consumers who frequently visit a quick serve or coffee shop for coffee also frequently prepare coffee at home.

Jenkins says coffee brands hoping to attract consumers who frequently brew their own coffee at home should try strengthening their breakfast food offerings and refocus the branding of their coffee.

“I think that’s the challenge for all of the [quick serves],” he says. “They can get in this breakfast market, but a big portion of this breakfast market is all about coffee, so how do you establish a brand?”

Further, coffee brands that don’t have a robust licensing program, Jenkins says, should consider how successful they can be by appealing to customers in the grocery stores.

“Dunkin’ doesn’t have much exposure on the West Coast but they do a pretty good job selling their coffee on the West Coast,” he says. “I think [Caribou] should more aggressive with their licensing, because they’re thought of as a pretty good, premium brand.”

By Sam Oches

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.