Target Market of a Coffee Shop: The Five Types of Coffee Drinkers

Scooter's Coffee Drive-Thru

Wondering how to determine a coffee shop target market? Learn the five types of coffee drinkers and how these coffee shop customers influence U.S. coffee sales.

Target Market of Coffee Shops

Every business has a target market, including coffee shops. Millions of Americans reach for their caffeine fix with coffee every day. Coffee drinkers span geographical locations, age groups, genders, and just about every other demographic. Typically, coffee statistics have shown the demographics of coffee shop customers lean more toward women than men; workers with higher salaries tend to drink more coffee; and more older adults consume the beverage.

The target market of coffee shops is anyone who drinks coffee, but each subcategory can be broken down and marketed to separately — whether that’s with products, innovative technology, locations, or the usual marketing campaigns. Let’s break down these different types of coffee drinkers and see how you can better market to them.

Types of Coffee Drinkers

The Young, The Old, and The In-Between

According to Statista, U.S. retail coffee was a $5.2 billion market in 2016. It’s a sizable market share with a demand across several demographics. Coffee drinkers can span almost any age. One report shows nearly 70% of people 60 and older drink coffee, 63% of people 23-59 drink coffee, and even within the demographic that consumes the least amount of coffee, 18- to 24-year-olds, nearly 50% drink coffee. From age alone, the target market of coffee shop sales can be just about anyone, but older populations are most dominant for consuming, while millennials are willing to spend more per cup, averaging more than $2,000 per year, according to some research.

How to market:

Obviously, each age group requires a different marketing tactic. For baby boomers and those in the older age range, research suggests having a social atmosphere where they can enjoy friends and communication and offering a loyalty or rewards program to make them feel like they’re getting a return on their purchase. For the 23-59 age range, apps, rotating flavors, and having a drive-thru option will draw them to your business. The younger coffee drinkers, according to research from the National Coffee Association (NCA) and idea-screening app Upsiide, will be interested in frozen and iced coffee options, cold brews, and other niche coffee items. More mature coffee drinkers will be interested in more standard cappuccinos, lattes, and plain coffee.

The On-The-Go

They need their pick-me-up, and they need it now. Whether they’re hustling to work, on their way to school, or heading to pick up the kids, they don’t have time to sit and enjoy their caffeine. This is a huge target market of coffee shops. The NCA found nearly half of coffee drinkers got their cup of joe at a drive-thru, and a quarter of people used an app to order.

How to market:

These customers need a quick fix with a drive-thru. They’re likely to return if your shop is on the way to their destination, so a loyalty program can bring them back day after busy day. A Scooter’s Coffee® drive-thru coffee kiosk franchise model would serve these on-the-go customers well.

The Social Drinker

Think of Friends. These Chandlers, Rachels, Monicas, or Joeys of the world need a place to meet with friends or colleagues. For these types of coffee drinkers, your store could be the perfect meeting place. The best part about these customers is they’re likely to return several times a month, purchase several items while chatting, and bring more customers to your location. These can be college students, business associates, or a group of friends. A study found younger, higher-educated adults were more likely to drink coffee out of the house and consume unique flavors

How to market:

A drive-thru doesn’t do much for people who want to socialize. A larger location with indoor seating and a menu with a variety of options will draw in the social drinkers. Keeping both original flavors and interesting, new concoctions will keep them coming back for more.

The Sugar Fiend

Coffee and caffeine can’t be sweet enough for these sweets-lovers. They require whipped cream, caramel, chocolate and more to satisfy their sweet lifestyle. According to research, younger people will be more interested in these flavors.

How to market:

Rotating out flavors seasonally will keep young buyers’ minds interested. Think about the roaring popularity of fall-time flavors when the calendar strikes September. Pumpkin spice lattes, shakes, and more are dreamt of all year by these sweet-loving consumers. Keeping a stocked pastry case with muffins, cookies and other sugary delights that pair well with coffee will also draw in the dessert-seeking crowd. Rewarding their taste buds will reward your ROI, especially in peak holiday months.

The OG

These are the original coffee drinkers. They like the taste of coffee without all the bells and whistles. From a simple cup of black coffee to the occasional espresso shot, these coffee drinkers know what they like and stick to it.

How to market:

The NCA market research shows traditional coffee drinkers are more likely to be 55 and older and male. Having traditional coffee menu items will keep these customers coming back. These are likely baby boomers.

How Scooter’s Coffee Caters to All

Coffee drinkers span some of the widest demographics, which is great for business. You’re able to target more consumers with interchangeable products and product lines. Scooter’s Coffee franchises have the location options to target all the main types of coffee drinkers. Whether it’s the drive-thru kiosk or the drive-thru coffee shop, your target demographic of consumers can get their coffee on the go or sit and stay.

Our ever-changing, innovative menu appeals to a large base of customers — from the sugar fiend to the OG, and to every age group of coffee drinkers. Our amazing products include staple hot drinks, smoothies, iced drinks, and blenders — something for every coffee customer. Meanwhile, our team works year-round to develop new, exciting drinks to keep the menu fresh. We pride ourselves on our amazing drinks and amazing people.

Get in on a perennially popular field and request franchise information to own your own Scooter’s Coffee.