CivicScience | In the World of Home Coffee Brewing, It’s Basically Standard Pots vs. Single-Serve ‘Pod’ Machines

General, Retail

In the World of Home Coffee Brewing, It’s Basically Standard Pots vs. Single-Serve ‘Pod’ Machines

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Seventy-seven percent of Americans said they brew coffee at home in a CivicScience survey of nearly 2,400 U.S. adults in July. 

And among the coffee-brewing crowd, nearly 8 in 10 say they mostly do it in one of two ways: either with a standard drip pot [48%], or with a single-serve ‘pod’ coffee maker [29%].

Other options – like pour-overs, French presses, percolators, and espresso machines – each represent the most common home brewing method for only 6% of Americans or fewer.

When it comes to spending on home coffee-brewing machines, spending peaks in the $50 to $100 range [32%]. Though nearly 1 in 5 Americans is willing to spend up to $250 on a new coffee machine, spending drops off steeply above that figure; only 8% of U.S. adults say they’d spend more than $250 on a machine.

Single-serve coffee machine owners are typically willing to shell out a good bit more for their equipment than coffee-pot loyalists. However, it’s those that typically use the least common methods of brewing coffee that are by far the most likely to say they’d spend hundreds of dollars on a coffee or espresso machine.

Another way of looking at it – only 16% of standard coffee pot users are willing to spend more than $100 on a coffee machine, compared with 33% of ‘pod’ users and 39% of niche coffee makers. Slightly less than half [49%] of drip coffee drinkers are looking for a bargain, and are only willing to spend less than $50. 

Pots vs. Pods

Coffee pot users are the most likely to be hopelessly hooked on caffeine. Eighty-eight percent say they drink coffee every day or most days, compared with 75% of ‘pod’ drinkers and 81% of niche coffee drinkers.

There were no significant differences between men and women in coffee-brewing preferences. However, age is a big factor: the older the respondent, the more likely they were to use a coffee pot and the less likely they were to use alternative / niche coffee-making methods. Single-serve coffee makers are most popular among 35- to 54-year-olds, and least popular among the under-35 crowd.

The 35- to 54-year-old age group is also the most likely to spend more than $100 on a coffee machine and least likely to be looking for a bargain option. Note that members of the under-35 age group are the most likely to spend $250 or more on a coffee machine, though:

Despite the ascendancy of single-serve coffee machines in recent years, standard coffee pots remain the most popular method of brewing coffee at home. With younger Americans less interested in ‘pod’-based coffee makers and more interested in niche methods (like French presses, pour-overs, etc.), it’s fair to expect that single-serve machines could see a decline in the years to come. These younger niche coffee fans, together with typically middle-aged ‘pod’ users, are more likely to spend big on coffee machines than standard coffee pot users, who are typically looking for an inexpensive option to get their caffeine fix.

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