New research from YouGov SixthSense reveals that a generational divide exists in UK coffee consumption.
Eighty three per cent of over fifty fives has drunk a cup of instant coffee in the last month compared to sixty seven per cent of eighteen-twenty four year olds.
Younger generations are more likely to choose alternatives such as a cappuccino (forty three per cent), a latte (thirty nine per cent) and an americano (twenty two per cent).
Commenting on the findings in the report, Research Director for YouGov SixthSense, James McCoy, said:
“What we are seeing here are two very different coffee drinking cultures informed by two different consumer experiences. The younger generation has grown up with Starbucks, Costa, Café Nero etc. offering a more varied and comprehensive coffee menu.
Also, young people are used to meeting with their friends at places like coffee shops where conversation can be carried out over a freshly brewed coffee, Friends-style. The previous generation hosted more and, therefore, was more inclined to resort to whatever was in the kitchen cupboard if and when a guest requested coffee.”
Londoners exhibit a more discerning taste in coffee compared to drinkers in other parts of the UK – twelve per cent of Londoners say that they regularly drink ‘freshly brewed coffee’ for breakfast during the week, compared to Wales (6%), the Midlands (5%) and Northern Ireland (1%).
A smaller proportion of Londoners (sixty nine per cent) has drunk a cup of instant coffee in the past month than anywhere else in the UK, while the North (eighty four per cent) is the region with the most drinkers of instant brands such as Nescafe, Kenco etc.
Coffee’s appeal seems to derive from its image as a ‘stimulating’ drink, with sixty seven per cent of consumers choosing to label it as such.
In contrast, seventy nine per cent of respondents view regular tea (i.e. not herbal) as traditional, while tea is also synonymous with Britishness for sixty three per cent of UK adults.
Herbal tea provides a calming effect with respondents using terms like relaxing (fifty three per cent), soothing (thirty six per cent) and healthy (fifty five per cent) to describe it.
Almost half of respondents (forty four per cent) say herbal tea is a good alternative to standard tea.
Starbucks’ recent foray into the instant coffee market reflects an industry-wide push to produce something closer to the taste of freshly brewed coffee in instant coffee form. McCoy added:
“It is possible that moves by coffee house chains into the instant sector might see a slight rebalance in favour of instant in the home.”