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Why millennials are the future of the coffee industry

15-Sep-2017 12:05:02 by WMF Marketing Team


You may have read our previous blog post about millennials, specifically looking into why so many of them are making the switch to decaf coffee. You may be asking yourself however, why do we even care about what millennials are doing? What makes them so special? 

According to research by the National Coffee Association USA, gourmet coffee consumption by millennials has soared over the past 8 years. For 18-24 year olds the number of coffee drinkers has risen from 13 percent to 36 percent, and 24-39 year olds have seen a similar jump, going from 19 to 41 percent. This is head and shoulders above all other age groups, so it’s clear that millennials should be carefully considered by anyone who wants to continue to operate in the highly competitive coffee industry.


Individuality is key

But how does the behaviour of these customers differ? Well for a start, the spectrum of different coffee drinks that millennials are likely to choose is much wider, with individuality being a real factor in purchasing decisions. Gourmet coffee drinks such as speciality traditional coffees, iced drinks etc are more likely to be preferred by younger millennials, whereas their older counterparts tend to drink a wide range of espresso based products. The ability to be able to customise the coffee order to suit the individual is a massive selling point, as this allows the customer to create their drink exactly the way they like it.


Customer service

Millennial consumers are much more likely to make purchasing decisions based on the experience of a brand than the products alone. For example, a coffee isn’t just a beverage, it’s an opportunity to socialise, relax, or just take a little time out of your day for yourself. How the customer feels about the whole coffee drinking experience is a crucial deciding factor around whether or not they will return in the future.

Furthermore, millennials are much more likely to share this experience online, which can go on to influence everyone in their digital network. This can go either way of course, either in the form of an artsy Instagram shot of a beautifully made flat white, or a ranting twitter post complaining about how their order was wrong and their day ruined! Millennials are 4 times more likely to share their purchases online, and these posts generally generate 30% more clicks on average. Seamless customer service is absolutely imperative if you want to take full advantage of these social media super-users.


Online to offline

As more and more traditional retail businesses are suffering due to purchasing habits moving to the online space, brands that rely on physical customers coming in the door absolutely have to embrace technology if they want to stay afloat. Finding a way to engage customers digitally that will result in a physical action can be tricky. Some brands have found success with using mobile apps/websites to order coffee, allowing the customer to just turn up and pick up their coffee rather than having to queue.

Another way to look at this is using a mobile app to save your preferences and create a truly personalised drink every time. A great example of this is the MyCoffeeApp from WMF, which enables the preparation of truly personalised coffee drinks and combinations. Compatible with the latest WMF Coffee Machines. For example, with the app you can specify the coffee-to-milk ratio or the strength of the coffee. Simply create your favourite coffee, save the recipe and request it from the coffee machine as often as you like or share with friends. Something to suit everyone’s taste.



Topics: Future of coffee, Coffee industry, Millennials

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Written by WMF Marketing Team

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