S&D Coffee and Tea released a white paper detailing findings from their recent research regarding the coffee usage and attitudes of Millennial Americans. The paper, “Appealing to Young Coffee Drinkers Along Their Maturity Path,” was presented at last week’s Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Symposium and Exposition held in Seattle.
Partnering with Datassentials, a Chicago-based foodservice research firm, S&D set out to gain insight into Millennial tastes, preferences, and purchasing decisions relative to their coffee consumption. Dividing the responses into Young Millennials (ages 18–24), Older Millennials (ages 25–34) and Gen-Xers (ages 35–44) who purchase coffee outside their home at least once a month, S&D conducted a quantitative survey of 1,388 respondents.
“The findings revealed distinct differences between the Millennial subgroups, offering insight into their coffee-drinking maturity path as well as their current buying decisions,” says S&D vice president of marketing John Buckner. “The magnitude of this generation is such that we know their attitude toward coffee will significantly impact our customers’ growth for years to come; we’re excited about being able to better understand their preferences and perceptions and how those evolve over time.”
The study provides insight into how young coffee drinkers first start consuming coffee and how their preferences change over time. Young Millennials favor sweeter, specialty coffee drinks early on, but eventually graduate to traditional hot brewed coffee over time. The survey also reveals that young and older Millennials’ tastes mature at differing rates relative to when they first start drinking coffee.