Instant coffee sales are taking a plunge

Peter Terlato 10 June 2016

instant coffee

But perhaps there's a chance of a vinyl-style revival?

Simply adding a few teaspoons of freeze dried coffee beans to a mug of boiling water doesn't seem to be cutting it anymore. When it comes to caffeine, Australians are saying fresh is best.

The popularity of instant coffee in Australia has been steadily declining over the past five years, according to new data from Roy Morgan Research.

The proportion of Aussies who bought instant coffee (not decaf) in an average four-week period between April 2011 and March 2016 dropped from 59.1% to 49.4%.

While the Nescafé brand of instant coffee remains the most popular - sales account for 49.7% of all instant-coffee buyers - it has experienced a decline of around 10% market share in the last four years.

With the exception of a minor drop in International Roast purchases (down 2.3% since March 2011), Nescafé's reduced sales of its Blend 43 and Gold Blend products appears to be the most significant factor in the decline of instant coffee.

Nescafé Blend 43, Australia’s best-selling instant coffee, has seen a 3.5% reduction in purchases between March 2012 and March 2016. Nescafe's Gold Blend lost 4.3% over the same period, while sales of Nescafé Espresso rose 1.1%.

Despite Aussies turning their noses up at instant coffee, Roy Morgan Research industry communications director Norman Morris says the growth of smaller brands suggests it may not be the end for the household staple.

"Perhaps instant coffee could stage a revival akin to that of vinyl records?" he says.

"Although more grocery buyers are purchasing fresh coffee than they were five years ago, this growth hasn’t been steep enough to be responsible for instant coffee’s total decline. The continued rise in café visitation could also be a factor, with an ever-increasing proportion of the population going to cafés for a coffee/tea in any given three months. A growing trend towards coffee pods may also have contributed."

Below you can check out the top 10 selling instant coffee brands in Australia.

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