Millennials and their emotional ties to coffee

As Millennials, we have a reputation for being, shall we say, more sensitive than previous generations. A new study suggests this emotionality extends to everyday coffee purchases.

Our Millennial love of coffee is well known- after all, Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Lattes are the undisputed trademark for an entire subset of Millennial women. However the study by S&D Coffee and Tea, indicates that our infatuation with the beverage goes beyond taste into experiential terrain.

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Part of our coffee drinking experience is a desire for sustainability. But as VICE points out, we may not know exactly what that means.

On the topic of valuing sustainability, VICE’s Nick Rose writes, “for some Millennials it meant organic, while for some, it meant environmentally friendly, and for others, it meant better taste or aroma”.

Though our definitions may differ, it is clear that a regular old cup of joe no longer meets Millennial needs. Companies are having to adapt to connect with this new generation of consumers.

Take for example Peet’s Coffee & Tea, a long standing coffee company that has acquired smaller ‘craft’ coffee producers to appeal to the Millennial crowd. By focusing on a more ‘local’ feel, Peet’s has had tremendous success reaching their desired demographic.

Given our emotional attachment to the drink, it seems that for millennials, coffee (not breakfast!) may be the most important meal of the day.


Millennial consumers have a unique perspective on food and drink. To read our research on Millennial consumer behaviour, click here.

What Millennial type is most likely to value sustainable coffee?: The Spark