Coffee has many nicknames, but whatever its form and flavour — a classic cappuccino or a whipped, frothy dalgona, a cup of Joe has never failed to wake people up and boost their energy levels. Of late, some budget-blowing beans and artisan makes have also taken social media by storm. It is no longer a mere productivity booster for long WFH hours during the pandemic-induced lockdowns but a rediscovered lifestyle product of excellent market value.
The coffee market in the country is currently dominated by traditional players like Nestlé, Hindustan Unilever, Tata Coffee (a subsidiary of the Tata Group) and others that offer instant home brews (read coffee powders). However, new-age players have also forayed into the space, aiming to provide a great and gourmet experience to users with new flavours and aromas, often topped with health benefits. According to a Mordor intelligence report, the Indian coffee market is currently valued at $1.46 Bn and is estimated to touch $2.03 Bn by 2025.
In the past few years, the industry has witnessed a rising demand for disruptive and premium products, and a dozen or so coffee startups/direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands are catering to the evolving consumer taste and requirements. A rise in disposable income and a subsequent change in lifestyle have certainly driven India’s young demography towards delectable foods and beverages. But it did reach a culmination of sorts when the food craze born out of lockdown isolation peaked, and the ubiquitous digital infrastructure made it easy to buy and taste at a tap or a click.
What Is Driving The Purchase Decisions Of Online Coffee Buyers In India?
Multiple factors are at play when a consumer decides to buy a product online. So, it is essential to map customer perceptions to understand the most crucial reasons behind the purchase.
Inc42, in collaboration with Clootrack, analysed 2,978 online product reviews posted by coffee buyers in India to derive the key delight drivers, or the stimuli, when it comes to purchasing decisions.
Among the key delighters that drive the online purchase of a coffee brand, flavour/taste and aroma matter most to online shoppers. Flavour, the top delighter, is the overall and combined perception of a product’s distinctive aroma and taste. Several D2C coffee brands focus on providing a wide range of flavours, including French vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, dark roast, cinnamon, dark chocolate, sparky orange and more. Although many companies pay a lot of attention to packaging, it is not a priority among online coffee shoppers.
Which D2C Coffee Brand Is India’s Favourite?
SLAY Coffee, Rage Coffee, Sleepy Owl Coffee and Blue Tokai are the key players in the online coffee market in India. Moreover, very few traditional players operate in the D2C space, giving the new-age companies a much-needed competitive edge. Although industry veterans have started entering the D2C segment given its potential, new companies have the early-mover advantage and dominate this space.
To know which Indian coffee startups are winning the perception war and access crucial insights into the coffee market in India, including market size, competitive scenario and key factors driving purchasing decisions, download the full report here.