Are Australians Coffee Snobs…

Instant coffee is falling out of fashion as coffee drinkers become more accustomed to ‘finer tastes’.

Just as CDs rendered vinyl records practically obsolete in the 1990s, so it sometimes seems that fresh coffee preferably served up by a hipster barista in the cool café of the moment is having the same effect on instant coffee. 

Has the popularity of coffee shop-style coffee in the home led by brands such as Nespresso and Dulce Gusto led to a decline in instant coffee sales?

So it may seem, over the last few years, the proportion of Australians buying instant coffee has declined, while fresh coffee and coffee beans sales have increased. But is instant coffee really on the way out? Roy Morgan Research data suggests it’s not as simple as that…

Between April 2011 and March 2016, the proportion of Australian grocery-buyers 14+ who bought instant coffee (not decaf coffee) in an average four-week period slipped from 59.1% to 49.4%. Over the same time period, the proportion of buying fresh coffee in any given four weeks rose from 28.2% to 30.2%.


Despite accounting for almost three-quarters of all value sales of UK coffee, instant coffee has seen a dip in sales as more and more people turn to pods.

Long-time leader Nescafé remains the most popular brand of instant coffee by a hefty margin, with its different varieties being purchased by 49.7% of all instant-coffee buyers in an average of four weeks. Indeed, three Nescafé blends — Blend 43, Gold Blend and Espresso — feature among the country’s 10 top-selling instant coffees.

However, this represents a substantial decrease from March 2012, when 57.0% of instant-coffee buyers opted for a Nescafé blend. In fact, with the exception of a slight drop in International Roast purchases (from 8.5% of grocery buyers to 6.2%), Nescafe’s downward trajectory appears to be the primary reason for the overall decline in the instant coffee category.

While it remains a distant second, Moccona, purchased by 33.6% of instant-coffee buyers in an average four weeks, is the country’s second-favourite brand, with its range gaining popularity since the 12 months to April 2012 (up from 28.1%). It too has three blends in the Top 10, all of which are on the up and up with Australian grocery buyers.

One of the overarching reasons behind the fall in instant coffee sales is attributed to millennials adopting more of a snobbish attitude when it comes to their brew. Has instant coffee seen a dip in sales as more and more people turn to pods?

In the UK record numbers of Britons are getting their cafe-style espresso coffee fix in their own homes.

Supermarket sales of coffee pods – premeasured capsules of ground coffee and milk designed for home espresso machines – soared to £102million last year as shoppers turned to making their own cappuccinos and lattes.

Sales revenues from these products rose 52 per cent and volumes by 54 per cent – to the equivalent of 310million cups, market data firm IRI found.