Convenience or quality? This is a tug of war that exists at every specialty coffee retail location, and it appears younger consumers may be pulling the rope away from convenience.
A Harris Interactive poll of 2,496 U.S. adults in February showed that taste is the top factor in deciding where they will go for their cup of coffee, more than 20 percentage points higher than the second leading factor, price. In addition, 60 percent of consumers said the coffee shop they most frequently visit is their favorite. Sixty six percent of consumers among the 18-35 age group said they will travel to their favorite shop even if it is less conveniently located than another shop.
At first glance, this trend may appear to benefit independent coffee shops, which often strive to compete with convenience-based chains such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks with a quality-based model. Unfortunately for them, that may not be the case, as the consumers interviewed identified a national chain as their favorite (35%) almost two-to-one over independent shops (18%).
Click here for the full Harris poll, which also includes trends in home brewing methods.