Coffeehouses Losing Market Share to Single-Serve Machines

More Canadians opting to brew their favourite drinks at home 

TORONTO, July 18, 2012 – The average coffee drinker in Canada is drinking an average of two cups of coffee per day, but the source of the national staple has begun to shift. Though it is not surprising to learn that caffeinated beverages are popular across the country, a recent study from leading market research company The NPD Group reveals that two thirds of Canadians are brewing their drinks at home, and 41 per cent of single- serve machine (e.g. Keurig and Tassimo) owners report using their coffee device more this year than last year.  

The report, What’s Brewing in the Canadian Coffee Market: A Consumer Perspective, shows that auto-drip coffeemakers are still dominant for in-home, morning preparation, but single-serve machines are being revved up in the afternoons, evenings and later at night. Now, over a quarter of Canadian coffee drinkers (27 per cent) are drinking coffee at home more than they did last year, and the same percentage states that they consume the beverage less when they are out.

“People are still looking for ways to spend less, and are really benefiting from the convenience and control of brewing at home,” says Robert Carter, executive director of Foodservice at The NPD Group. “The more sophisticated single-serve devices get, the more appealing making the perfect cup at home will become.”

Coffee shops are not in hot water yet, however. Fourteen per cent of Canadian coffee drinkers still consume all of their coffee away from home, but brewed cups are where they cash in. When Canadian coffee drinkers visit their local coffeehouses, 80 per cent are purchasing a quick brew rather than an espresso or an espresso-based beverage. Also, those buying more coffee away from home are doing so because of the convenience.

As anticipated, brewed coffee out of home is most popular in the morning, with 60 per cent of Canadian coffee drinkers likely to buy a cup at this time of day. However, afternoon purchases are largely driven by consumer moods and cravings, as opposed to the need for an energy boost. Espresso-based beverages are more likely to be consumed as a treat (38 per cent) or when yearning for something sweet (20 per cent), and iced coffee, also considered an indulgence, is preferred in the afternoon by almost half of the population (46 per cent). In conjunction with this mindset, iced coffee is twice as likely to be consumed on the weekend (29 per cent) versus during the week (14 per cent), and has grown in popularity by over 15 per cent in the past year.

“Even though we’re seeing a definite shift towards at-home consumption, it’s clear that consumers still enjoy the products that coffeehouses have to offer,” continued Carter. “Overall, people are still very much drawn to the quick service, freshness and consistency that their favourite shops provide, and will continue to make purchases that satisfy their needs when they’re out and about.”

Out-of-home loyalty is strongest among 18 to 24 year-old consumers, 34 per cent of whom satisfied 100 per cent of their coffee requirements at local establishments. Though the country’s younger demographic is not particularly partial to in-home and away-from-home coffee brands, this affinity increases as Canadian coffee drinkers age. One third of coffee drinkers between the ages of 55 and 64 indicated that they only drink specific types of coffee, and more than half of this group (52 per cent) did so from home 75 per cent of the time.



An online survey was fielded to a yield a representative sample of 5,521 coffee drinkers (18-64 years old). Fieldwork was completed between April 19 and May 14, 2012.

About The NPD Group, Inc. 
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