Many Coffee Drinkers Cutting Back on Gourmet Takeout Coffee

Posted on January 19, 2009

Coffee CutbacksAdvertising Age commissioned Lightspeed Research to study the habits of coffee drinkers. The study found that many coffee drinkers are cutting back on the lattes and other caffeinated beverages they purchased from gourmet cafes like Starbucks. Instead coffee drinkers are brewing their coffee at home or opting for less expensive takeout coffee.

Ad Age's study found that 60% of Americans have already scaled back on fancy or expensive coffee in the past six months and 56% report cutting back just since the start of 2009. 90% of the people cutting back told AdAge they were doing it to save money, which means the decision is related to the recession. Ad Age also says consumers traded down for a lower quality coffee or they started brewing more coffee at home.
The biggest shift seems to be in mind-set, as latte lovers trade down rather than out of their fancy-coffee fixes by drinking less, going to less-expensive places or brewing at home. "I started buying my coffee at less-expensive places," said one respondent. "I have it once a week to indulge myself," said another. "I went from once a week to once a month," said a third. "I drink lots of home-brewed coffee, whereas before I would only drink a venti Starbucks," said a fourth.
The survey didn't get data on what percentage of the people cutting back on gourmet takeout coffee are now brewing at home. People who have the time to brew a pot of coffee at home are probably more likely to save money that way because you can still control the quality of the coffee. People on the road a lot may not have this options and have to buy a cheaper takeout coffee in order to save money.

This reduction by consumers in coffee purchases combined with a predicted 26% surge in coffee prices looks like bad news for the nation's gourmet coffee shops.

Photo: Ad Age