Average Australian coffee consumption drops, but cafe visits continue to grow, research

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 12th March 2014
Australians are drinking less coffee overall, but more at cafes

In the last decade, coffee consumption by Australian adults has declined slowly but steadily, from 10.5 cups to 9.2 cups per week, but cafe visitation and ownership of coffee-making machines is on the rise, according to findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

The proportion of Australians aged 18 years and over who went to a cafe for coffee or tea in an average three month period has grown gradually from 54 per cent in the 12 months to December 2009 to 56 per cent in year the December 2013. Meanwhile, the increase in people who own coffee makers has risen sharply, from 28 per cent in 2009 to 36 per cent in 2013.

Who are the biggest coffee drinkers?

Among Australia’s biggest coffee drinkers are people who work long hours. In the year to December 2013, those who worked 60 or more hours in any given week consumed an average 10.1 cups weekly, compared to 8.6 cups for non-workers or 8.8 cups for those who worked 35 to 39 hours.

“While it makes sense that people who work long hours would consume more coffee, their need for caffeine goes beyond this, to the point where they also drink more Cola and energy drinks than people who work fewer hours,” said Angela Smith, Group Account Manager Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research.

It seems that having children also increases the need for caffeine. Whereas the average weekly coffee consumption for people who did not have children was 7.2 cups, it rose to 9.6 cups for parents.

Consumption of coffee increased with the age of the children. So while parents of infants under two years old actually drink less coffee (8.8 cups per week) than the national average, those with children aged between 12 and 15 drink an average of 10.3 cups.

“The news that parents of older children drink more coffee in an average week than those of infants may seem surprising, considering the stereotype of the sleep-deprived new parent, but this is simply a function of age,” Ms Smith said. “Our data shows that older people drink more coffee, and parents of older children are typically older than those of infants,” she said.

“Mind you, their extra caffeine requirements might also be linked to the sleep they lose through lying awake at night, worrying about where their kids are or what they’re up to on Snapchat,” Ms Smith said.

The rise of the home coffee maker

Even though it is hard to imagine when they would have time to use it, since they work such long hours, people who worked 60 or more hours a week were significantly more likely than the average Australian to have a coffee maker at home, with 44 per cent of them owning one (up from 38 per cent in the year to December 2009).

People with children were also more likely than the average person to own a coffee machine, with 39 per cent owning one, up from 32 per cent in 2009.

“The increased presence of coffee makers — which can be anything from stovetop cafetieres to ‘pod’ machines such as Nespresso and Expressi — in Australian households is good news for the manufacturers of these items,” Ms Smith said. “Interestly, it hasn’t impacted adversely on cafe visitation: possibly because people are developing a taste for ‘real’ coffee over instant,” she said.