How Our Caffeine Craze Drives Growth in Coffee, Tea, and Energy Drink Markets
How do you like your caffeine fix? Beyond deciding between black or cream and sugar with coffee, consumers have more choices than ever before on how to secure their caffeine buzz.
The beverage industry is seeing growth in coffee, tea, and energy drinks. As a part of our 2022 Industry Checkpoint series, we’re taking a look at interesting insights across several industries.
Besides the obvious fact that most of us are addicted to caffeine, let's look at three key takeaways for beverage companies.
#1: Don’t be too adventurous with your flavors.
While it might be tempting to concoct the craziest flavor combinations imaginable to garner some TikTok or Instagram love, consumers seem reluctant to venture too far out of their caffeinated comfort zone.
Sure, they’ll like the Instagram photo, but that doesn’t mean they’ll buy the drink. In our surveys, only one out of three U.S. coffee drinkers had ordered a custom coffee drink because they saw a social media post about it.
Most people know how they like to get their buzz and stick with it. For energy drinks, only 33% of U.S. consumers and 29% of U.K. buyers say they’re open to trying new flavors. And when it comes to tea, our research found traditional brands like Yorkshire Tea and PG Tips have a stranglehold on U.K. cupboards.
#2: Think twice before boozing it up.
Apparently, most people like to pick their vice and keep their alcohol out of their caffeine. More than 40% of U.K. consumers say they haven’t tried alcohol and tea together and won’t try it. Across the pond, a surprising majority (64%) of Americans have never tried coffee with alcohol but expressed more interest in trying it.
The explosive growth of hard seltzers makes it seem like spiked drinks may take off in other segments too. Selling hard coffee to Americans seems like it has some potential, while spiked tea for Brits remains a bit riskier.
#3: Taste is everything.
Across all three categories, taste was the driving force behind consumer purchases. Yes, we all need our caffeine fix, but we want it to taste good too. The top-three factors are taste, quality, and price.
Surprisingly caffeine content ranks pretty low. While this makes sense with tea and coffee, as caffeine levels don't vary too much, we were surprised that energy drink buyers didn’t care too much about how much caffeine was in the energy drink.
How to Use Beverage Market Insights
So what do these takeaways mean for your business? Here’s how you could use some of the insights above to guide your market or product development strategy when introducing a new flavor.
Let’s say you're an energy drink company with three flavors: strawberry, pineapple, and fruit punch. Those just happen to be the top three flavors in the U.S., according to our surveys.
From our takeaways, we know consumers are reluctant to try new flavors and really value taste and quality. Since strawberry is your top-selling flavor, consider building on that success by developing strawberry variants. Perhaps strawberry-kiwi or strawberry-mango could tempt your strawberry guzzling fans to try a new flavor.
Getting Help With Market Research
Figuring out how to get market insights is a challenge for many companies. OnePulse makes it easy. With our mobile platform, you can get hundreds of responses in minutes to help better understand coffee drinkers' preferences or test out new flavor ideas on energy drink buyers.
OnePulse lets you send short three-question surveys. The brief surveys keep respondents engaged to fight fatigue. You get more complete and useful data.
Back to our energy drink example. If you already know strawberry is the most popular combination, you can use short surveys to test the popularity of each of the different combinations. While strawberry kiwi seems like a shoo-in, you might fight out that lemon berry has the most potential.
The main point is that market research doesn’t have to be hard for the beverage industry, or any industry for that matter.
Want to see more beverage industry insights? Check out our latest Industry Checkpoint Reports:
- Coffee Industry Insights 2022 (U.S)
- Tea Industry Insights 2022 (U.K.)
- Energy Drink Insights 2022 (U.S. & U.K.)