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Instant gratification: Nescafé still number one

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2012 –March 2013, n = 20,767.

With new cafés springing up faster than you can say ‘make mine a soy macchiato’ and coffee machines becoming ever-more affordable, instant coffee has some stiff competition when it comes to caffeinating the nation.  But while sales of instant coffee have declined in the last five years, Nescafé remains the top choice among Australians who still buy it, according to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research.

In the 12 months to March 2013, 38% of Australians aged 14+ bought instant coffee (excluding decaf) in an average four-week period, down from 42% in the year to March 2009. More than half of them – 21% of the population – bought Nescafé (down from 25% in 2009).

Despite its declining popularity, Nescafé maintains its lead over closest competitors Moccona (11% of Australians, up from 10% in the year to March 2009) and International Roast (3%, down from 4% in 2009).

While Nescafé is the top brand purchased across all states, other brand preferences vary slightly between states. Queenslanders are slightly more likely (13%) to buy Moccona, while a higher proportion of Tasmanians (7%) like International Roast compared to other states.

Top 5 Instant Coffee brands bought by Australians in an average 4-week period


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2012 –March 2013, n = 20,767.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Over the last five years there has been a small decrease in the proportion of Australians purchasing instant coffee in an average four-week period, while sales of fresh coffee have remained stable. During this time, the number of Australians visiting cafés has risen, which may be impacting on instant coffee sales, either directly – as an alternative to instant coffee consumption, or indirectly, by creating a taste for fresh coffee.

“Market-leader Nescafé has declined in popularity, as Moccona and supermarket brands have gained ground.

“It’s interesting to note the differences in brand preference between the states, with Queensland residents showing a slightly higher preference for Moccona, and Tasmanian residents more likely to purchase International Roast.

“To remain competitive in this changing market, coffee companies need to understand their customers and how they differ from those of other brands.

Click here to view our extensive range of Instant Coffee Profiles, including the Nescafe Instant Coffee Buyer, Moccona Instant Coffee buyer, International Roast  buyer, and more.  These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience, in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.

For comments or more information please contact:

Norman Morris

Industry Communications Director

Office: +61 (3) 9224 5172

Mobile: +61 402 014 474


About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%