Survey: Americans Are Cutting Back on Fancy Coffee Because of the Economy
Emily Bryson York reports in AdAge that americans appear to be cutting back on their Starbucks. After reporters in several different cities noticed much shorter lines at their coffee outlets, Ad Age decided to commission Lightspeed Research to find out whether either New Year’s resolutions or a tough economy were turning latte sippers into bean counters.
The survey results reveal that 60% of Americans have scaled back on fancy or expensive coffee in the past six months; 56% report cutting back just since the beginning of the year. The culprit was overwhelmingly the economy, with 90% of survey respondents saying they are doing so to save money. Upmarket coffee “just cost too damned much,” said one respondent. “I don’t drink as much Starbucks as I did before,” said another.
Those who have scaled back the most since the beginning of the year, according to the online survey of 500 Americans conducted between Jan. 14 and 15, are consumers 45 to 54, with fully half (50.4%) saying they have “cut back a lot” on fancy or expensive takeout coffee. That was followed by consumers 35 to 44 (37.5%) and 25 to 34 (33.3%). As might be expected, those who had trimmed the expense the most were in the lower of the survey’s income brackets (48.6% earned between $20,000 and $39,000, and 33.6% earned below $20,000; the latter presumably included college students, who are a sweet spot for Starbucks).
But salary didn’t appear to be that big a factor among the 92% who said they are cutting back on back on expensive coffee to save money: The percentage was close to even across all income levels, including $75,000-plus.
And these are clearly Starbucks drinkers: Some 43% said they “buy their coffee the most” from Starbucks, followed by “other” at 20%, Dunkin’ Donuts at 19.7%, McDonald’s at 16% and Burger King at 1.3%.