By George! 80% of coffee pod drinkers stick to official brand

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This article is part of our Hot Beverages Digital Feature.

Brits are brand snobs when it comes to coffee pods - 81% of users claim they only use the official manufacturer’s pods in their beloved machines.

The Grocer’s exclusive research, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that, of 2,088 Brits polled, 22% own a coffee pod machine, with the Bosch Tassimo favoured by a third of users followed by the Nescafé Dolce Gusto. Nespresso, which has Hollywood hunk George Clooney as an ambassador, came in third place. However, it is far more popular with 16 to 24-year-olds: 38% of pod machine owners have a Nespresso one.

Following the expiration of Nespresso’s patent, a multitude of Nespresso-compatible pods have hit the market, but with only one fifth of consumers willing to use them, the jury is out on how much potential they have. With this in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising that Tassimo has secured a staggering 47.8% growth in value over the past year [IRI 20 June 2015].

Nearly a quarter of respondents believe coffee pods are worth the premium as they make better quality coffee than instant, and 9% think they’re better than ground coffee.

But for those yet to become part of the so-called pod generation, the main barrier is price. While the humble tea bag costs on average 2p, coffee pods can be upwards of 25p in supermarkets and over 35p direct from the manufacturer. Of all the respondents, 35% felt that coffee pods are far too expensive (a view that became more prominent with age), while 18% said they would buy a machine if they were cheaper.

When it comes to tea, consumers are willing to pay more – but not too much more. Although nearly a quarter of consumers are only willing to pay 1p per bag (less than the current average price), 28% are happy to pay 5p and a further 13% 10p. The line, it seems, is drawn at 20p and over.

This may be because 42% of consumers believe tea is a simple pleasure, meaning they’re not interested in ‘fancy varieties’, but 23% say they would be willing to pay more if the quality was better.

Q1. Do you own a coffee pod machine?      
No 78%79%76%78%77%76%80%79%
Q2. Which type of machine do you own?      
Bosch Tassimo34%30%36%21%29%31%43%38%
Nescafe Dolce Gusto (by De’Longhi or Krups)28%22%32%28%29%25%23%30%
Philips Senseo10%11%9%-17%13%8%8%
Lavazza A Modo Mio (by AEG)2%3%2%4%1%5%2%0
Starbucks Verismo2%4%1%3%6%1%-1%
Q3. Which pods do you use in your machine?      
I only use the official manufacturer’s pods81%78%83%83%75%78%84%83%
I only use third-party pods7%8%5%5%12%9%1%5%
I use a combination of the manufacturer’s pods and third-party pods13%14%12%12%13%13%15%12%
Q4. The average price of a coffee pod is 24p in supermarkets and can be as much as 35p from manufacturers, such as Nespresso. With this in mind, which of these statements do you agree with?
Coffee pods are far too expensive35%33%36%18%23%36%41%42%
Pod coffee is for other people, it isn’t really my thing27%25%28%25%22%19%28%33%
Coffee pods make better quality coffee than instant coffee, and they’re worth the premium23%23%23%35%31%22%20%17%
I would buy coffee pods/a coffee pod machine if they were cheaper18%16%20%21%20%20%17%16%
Coffee pods make a comparable quality coffee to that available from coffee shops16%16%17%13%12%16%17%20%
Coffee pods make better quality coffee than ground coffee, and they’re worth the premium9%10%9%14%13%9%8%6%
Coffee pods are very bad for the environment9%10%8%8%8%10%12%8%
Coffee pods do not make better quality coffee than instant or ground9%10%7%7%9%7%7%11%
Pod coffee is for people like me and my family8%8%9%8%7%10%8%8%
I’ve stopped using my coffee pod machine and now make coffee using more traditional methods4%4%4%6%5%3%6%3%
Q5. How much would you be willing to pay per teabag?     
More than 20p2%3%2%3%6%3%1%1%
Q6. The average price of a teabag is 2p. With this in mind, which of these statements do you agree with?
Tea is a simple pleasure; I’m not interested in fancy varieties42%39%45%34%33%39%42%52%
I would be willing to pay more for tea if the quality were better23%22%23%33%26%23%22%17%
A genuine health benefit would make me drink a certain type of tea20%19%21%29%21%20%22%16%
Loose leaf tea is better quality than teabags13%14%12%16%12%12%12%13%
I would drink more tea if it had a comparable level of caffeine to coffee6%7%5%10%13%7%6%2%
Real men don’t drink herbal tea or fruit infusions5%8%3%8%7%5%8%2%
None of these22%22%22%18%19%23%22%25%
Q7. Which one of these do you drink most often?     
Instant coffee21%21%21%8%18%20%27%25%
Ground coffee7%10%5%5%5%10%9%7%
Hot chocolate7%8%6%25%8%6%3%2%
Green tea6%5%6%10%7%5%7%3%
Premium instant coffee (such as Kenco Millicano or Nescafe Azera)5%5%5%1%6%7%5%5%
Fruit/herbal tea4%3%5%7%5%6%3%2%
Coffee from pods4%3%4%2%3%4%3%4%
Coffee from a coffee shop2%2%2%3%5%2%2%1%
Vending machine coffee01%01%1%1%00
Q8. How do you take your tea?       
Milk no sugar33%29%37%16%19%34%36%43%
Milk one sugar15%17%13%17%19%18%14%11%
Milk two or more sugars15%18%11%30%25%16%12%5%
Black no sugar9%9%9%7%9%9%10%9%
Milk with sweetener8%6%9%1%9%5%7%11%
Black with sugar4%5%3%8%4%6%6%1%
Black with sweetener1%2%1%1%3%1%-1%
I don’t drink tea14%13%15%17%11%12%14%16%

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