Queensland study reveals changing coffee consumer preferences

Merlo Coffee Roasters

A study has found that consumer preferences for Queensland coffee drinkers are changing with 72 per cent of survey takers stating they preferred catching up in cafés over pubs and 54 per cent reporting they did this at least once a week.

Dr Marie-Louise Fry, Consumer Behaviour Expert at the Griffiths University says that Brisbane’s coffee market has been growing in sophistication, leading consumers to choose socialising in coffee shops over bar environments.

The Merlo Coffee Roasters-conducted survey also found that lattes are the most popular coffee choice with Australians consuming an average of 1.875 kilograms of coffee annually.

With COVID-19 forcing people to work from home or out of the city, the study further found that suburban coffee shops have benefitted with increased business as coffee drinkers are instead going to local coffee stores.

“Google Community Mobility Reports have clearly identified a shift toward ‘localism’. Simply, we are more inclined to work from home and consume locally,” says Gary Mortimer, Retail Expert and Professor at the Queensland University of Technology.

Gary reports that while Brisbane’s city area has made a comeback post COVID-19, there has still been a significant drop in business for city cafés.

David Holt, Merlo General Manager, adds that its city-based retail and university stores saw a drop in business during COVID-19, however, suburban cafés fared well.

“People who weren’t keen to venture out of their home, but still craved a caffeine hit, drove up our online coffee beans sales by 80 per cent in the past 12 months,” says David.

“When Merlo opened more than 20 years ago, it was selling about 100 kilograms of coffee a month, that figure is now measured in tonnes with more than three million cups of coffee sold throughout Merlo’s Queensland stores every year.”

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