From the AnthologyAI Blog

Turns Out Smart People Drink Dunkin'

May 15, 2024

Coffee is your morning pick-me-up and daily ritual. But what does it say about you or your lifestyle? We've analyzed over 75,000 Walmart coffee transactions to discover what your coffee choices say about you. When evaluating Walmart's top-purchased coffee brands (Starbucks, Dunkin’, Folgers, Pete’s Coffee, and more), we looked for patterns that intertwine consumer behavior, brand preference, and broader societal trends. So, what did we find?

Starbucks vs. Everyone

It’s no surprise that Starbucks is a household favorite, thanks to its wide range of options and strong brand recognition. That said, Starbucks tends to lose ground with one specific demographic: people with Doctorate Degrees. 

Among Doctorate Degree holders, Dunkin' stands out, with over 50% of PhDs preferring it to brands like Starbucks, Folgers, and Pete's Coffee. This preference sharply diverges from those without a Doctorate Degree, who overwhelmingly favor Starbucks. So why are highly educated Americans more likely to choose Dunkin' over Starbucks? It could be a matter of familiarity and convenience, as Dunkin' locations tend to be more prevalent in suburban areas where many PhDs reside. But who knows! If you prefer Dunkin', you're in good company.

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Drinking coffee is, thankfully, a bipartisan issue.

Our data shows no shocking trends in how coffee preferences align with political affiliations. As it turns out, moderates are big fans of Starbucks, Dunkin', and Peet's Coffee. However, we did notice some interesting patterns: people who fall on the extreme ends of the political spectrum show distinct preferences.

Green Mountain Coffee is noticeably unpopular with "Very Liberal" users, but why? Despite its strong position in promoting fair trade products, its widespread use of single-use K-cups might be deterring environmentally conscious liberals due to concerns over waste and sustainability. People with strong liberal views typically support independently owned brands. Since Keurig Dr Pepper owns Green Mountain Coffee, these Americans might prefer smaller coffee brands focusing on social responsibility.

Conversely, Lavazza Coffee is favored by "Very Conservative" consumers. This raises a curious question: Is it just a coincidence, or do these consumers prefer a brand known for its rich history and traditional values because of the political messages it may convey?

So what?

Gaining insights into customer preferences are invaluable for retailers looking to enhance their strategic decisions. In this instance, by understanding the subtle variations in coffee preference, coffee retailers like Dunkin', Lavazza, Green Mountain and Starbucks, can optimize their product positioning, inform decisions around store placements, marketing campaigns and much more. For instance, targeting doctoral degree holders with more Dunkin' outlets in suburban areas or crafting environmentally friendly initiatives to appeal to the eco-conscious consumer may drive both customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

AnthologyAI is the Artificial Intelligence Consumer Insights & Predictions Platform with billions of behavioral data points sourced directly and ethically from American consumers. With AnthologyAI, businesses across retail, telecoms, media and financial services can access previously unavailable levels of intelligence about retail, spending, geolocation, media consumption, travel, ride-sharing and more — in near real-time, at scale. Our first-party data is directly and ethically sourced from consumers in the Caden app.

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