Understanding coffee drinking among Gen Z Brits

Is there such a thing as too much coffee? Out of all the demographic groups, Generation Z is most likely to believe there is — at least those Gen Zers in the UK, per a new study.

Millennials have been the ‘talked about’ generation for several years now, being the largest demographic group and the one with the most buying power. However, as discussed in the feature story, “Recognising the Power and Potential in Generation Z,” which appears in T&CTJ’s January issue, Gen Z (aka ‘i-Gen’) is the most diverse generation to date, is eager to try new flavours and beverage experiences and holds billions in buying power but is cautious and conservative with their money. They may be ‘the future’ – poised to spend even more as they age – but Gen Zers are tricky consumers as these buyers maintain strong beliefs and convictions, are tech and social media savvy, and they manifest their activism in many ways.

Research from international research and data analytics group YouGov shows UK-based Gen Zers are amongst the most likely to agree that there is such a thing as too much coffee (61%). Millennials and Gen Xers, on the other hand, seem to have the highest share of coffee enthusiasts as 32% of them do not think there is such a thing as ‘too much joe’.

According to YouGov analysis, Brits do most of their drinking at home or work, with a majority drinking coffee there at least once a day. But slightly less than half (46%) of Gen Z says they never drink coffee at work or home, with only a minority (10%) drinking multiple times a day — the lowest among all surveyed groups.

The total proportion of Gen Zers that either drink coffee less often than once a week or never drink (11% and 46% at home, 33% and 52% at cafés, respectively) outweighs the proportion that do drink more than once a week. That is consistent with YouGov data that Gen Z members are doing without coffee in their daily routine.

But the coffee industry need not fret — there are ways to connect with these consumers in a manner in which both resonates with them and is meaningful to them.

To reach and engage with Gen Z, YouGov notes that social media is one of the best mediums advertisers should focus on. Almost two in five Gen Zers say they do not trust adverts on TV, while 51% say they are more likely to engage with advertisements on social media than on regular websites. Yet Gen Z is not compelled to purchase an item simply because they see it on social media, but they might be driven to purchase because the message resonates with them, and they feel connected to the product. As Anne-Marie Hardie writes in “Recognising the Power and Potential in Generation Z,” when communicating with Gen Zers, “tea and coffee companies need to acknowledge the pandemic’s impact and meet them where they are today. This includes developing an online community, including using platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram, to showcase brand values and develop authentic connections.”

YouGov finds that Gen Zers in the UK are also more likely to be influenced by ads they see — 46% agree that advertising helps them choose what they buy, compared to 19% of Baby Boomers and 17% of the Silent Generation. They are also more likely to engage with adverts that are tailored to them (42%). However, as T&CTJ’s feature explains, Generation Z are both dreamers and doers and are looking for brands that invest the time to understand who they are and reflect their values —expect a lot from their favourite brands, including strong sustainability platforms, authenticity, and transparency.

For more information on the YouGov study on coffee drinking among Generation Z, click here.

As sustainability among the brands they buy and companies they like ranks high among Generation Z, I wanted to remind our readers about T&CTJ’s tea sustainability survey, the deadline of which has been extended to 31 January. Complete the survey at: https://teasustainabilitysurvey2021.crothersconsulting.co.

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