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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Battle of the Brew; Americans Choose Taste Over Convenience When Coffee Shops Go Head to Head

At a time when Starbucks can be found on practically every corner, have Americans chosen convenience as the deciding factor in where they get their caffeine jolt? Not according to a recent Harris Poll (full findings and data tables available here), that suggests consumers – particularly millennials – may have become somewhat of coffee connoisseurs. Results of The Harris Poll of 2,496 U.S. adults surveyed online from February 13-18, 2013 by Harris Interactive found that taste is the top factor in determining where coffee/tea buyers purchase their beverages, and that Americans are willing to go out of their way for their favorite cup of joe. Three in five coffee/tea buyers (60%) said the coffee shop they most frequently visit is their favorite, chosen over a more convenient shop (40%), and this number rises to two-thirds (66%) of those ages 18 to 35.

Chain Reaction
That favorite shop is likely a chain, as coffee and tea buyers said they typically choose a national chain (35%) almost two to one over a local shop (18%). Related findings from the 2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend® (EQ) study show that among national and regional chains, Dunkin' Donuts is top ranked and the Brand of the Year in the coffee and quick service restaurant category. This award is given in each category to the highest ranked brand in Equity, which is based on key factors of Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration. The brands in this category that rank above the category average Equity score are:
  • Dunkin' Donuts Stores
  • Einstein Bros Bagels
  • Starbucks Coffee Shops
The Caffeinated Generation
Having grown up during the coffee shop boom, younger Americans are, perhaps not surprisingly, leading the charge as the most likely to ever purchase prepared coffee or tea drinks. Seven in ten (71%) of those ages 18-35 say they do so, along with 68% of those ages 36-47. In contrast, 60% of 48-66 year olds and 57% of those ages 67 and older say they ever shell out for these beverages. Millennials who purchase such beverages a few times a week or more are also the most likely to say they'll give up convenience to go to their favorite place, with two in three (66%) saying the store they frequent most is their favorite, as opposed to settling for a more convenient location.
Best Brew
Taste is the most important factor among all coffee/tea buyers when deciding where to make their purchases; 78% rate it a very important factor in deciding where to buy a beverage, more than 20 percentage points higher than any other factor, including price at 54%. And despite the growing addition of food options on coffee shop menus, less than one in four coffee/tea purchasers (23%) rate the variety of food choices very important, compared with 31% who indicate the same for the selection of beverages.
Coffee Shops Beware?
While Americans may love their Frappuccinos®, macchiatos and Coolattas®, the convenience of single serve home brewing has been gaining in popularity[1]; one-third of Americans (33%) say they have a single cup brewing system at home and/or work. Among adults with a single cup maker, 70% say they have consciously chosen to use it instead of buying a drink at a coffee shop. In fact, single-cup brewing mainstay Keurig was named the Brand of the Year in the EquiTrend coffee maker category for the second year in a row. The brands in this category ranking above the category average Equity score are:
  • Keurig Coffee Maker
  • Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker
  • Bosch Coffee Maker
  • DeLonghi Coffee Maker
  • Cuisinart Coffee Maker
  • Krups Coffee Maker
To see other recent Harris Polls, or to search through over 40 years of topics in the Harris Vault®, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.
Harris Poll Methodology
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between February 13 and 18, 2013 among 2,496 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
Harris Poll EquiTrend® Methodology
A sample of 38,814 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over were surveyed online by Harris Interactive from January 11 through February 8, 2013 and the survey took an average of 35 minutes to complete. The sample was from the Harris Interactive online panel of respondents, a database consisting of over a million cooperative respondents who have double-opted in to be randomly invited by Harris Interactive to take part in online surveys. The total number of brands rated was 1,511. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 40 randomly selected brands. Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings. Data were weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population of consumers ages 15 and over based on age by sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, income, and data from respondents ages 18 and over were also weighted for their propensity to be online. This is the same precision weighting approach Harris has used to become the leading online polling organization when calling elections.
The Brand Equity Index is the keystone to the EquiTrend program providing an understanding of a brand's overall strength. A brand's Equity is determined by a calculation of Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration. Brand of the Year is determined by a simple ranking of brands.
The results of this Harris Poll and the Harris Poll EquiTrend® study may not be used for advertising, marketing or promotional purposes without the prior written consent of Harris Interactive.
Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
The Harris Poll® #22, April 18, 2013
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients—stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.