Single-cup coffee category continues to have audience, Mintel finds

CHICAGO — Seventeen percent of coffee drinkers enjoy consuming one "cup of joe" at a time, according to new Mintel research.

Among those surveyed, single-cup coffee drinkers cited convenience (79%), flavor (55% said they like the variety available in pods, 20% believed single-cup coffee tastes better than the ground variety and 38% said a pod-style machine produces consistent taste) and value (39% said it's cheaper than visiting a coffeehouse) as reasons for their preference. What's more, those ages 18 to 44 years are more likely than their older counterparts to cite convenience as a reason for using pod-style machines.

"A key driver of sales growth in the coffee category is innovation. The single-cup segment of the coffee business is driving growth and is likely to continue to contribute to gains for the foreseeable future," Mintel senior analyst Garima Goel Lal said. "Consumers in the U.S., the European Union and elsewhere have been using espresso machines to make single cups of coffee for many years, and single-cup machines provide similar results, but are less complicated to operate than an espresso machine."

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