A quintessential symbol of Italian identity. These are the characteristics of the coffee that Italians under 34 years old drink
• A social experience that also takes place outside of the home in coffee bars, a concrete way to support small business owners: that’s what coffee is for Italians between 18 and 34 years old according to AstraRicerhe’s data.
• Those under 25 years old are drawn to the always beloved and vintage style of the moka, while their “older siblings” prefer Neapolitan coffee machines and automatic espresso machines.
• However, there’s one thing that they can all agree on: a focus on our planet’s well-being.
A daily companion. Something that gives us a charge. A social moment to spend with friends. That’s coffee: an ancient, yet always new, beverage enjoyed by people of all ages. But what are the preferences and methods of consumption among the younger generation? From timeless classics to new trends and some all-new results, here’s what they think.
The younger generation loves coffee, confirming the extent to which this beverage is able to stretch across generations and continuously develop new meanings. In addition to being a taste experience, for young men and women between 18 and 34 years old, coffee is synonymous with social interaction and friendship, a ritual characterized by important values such as supporting the economy of small business owners (which has been seriously tested by the pandemic), tradition, and an openness towards cross-contamination of flavours and methods of consumption.
These are some of the insights which emerged from the second edition of the “Italians and Coffee” study, conducted by AstraRicerche for the Consorzio Promozione Caffè, which highlighted the extent to which this beverage, a symbol of the Italian lifestyle, is loved also by the younger generation, with different approaches between this generation and their parents and grandparents, as well as between those under and over 25 years old.
They love tradition, but are open to cross-contamination.
The study, which involved a sample of approximately 1000 adults under 65 years old, revealed that 25 to 34-year-olds drink more coffee than 18 to 24-years-olds. Nevertheless, for both groups coffee is a pleasant custom to be shared with other people (especially for the youngest) and to help recharge and energize you (especially for the “older siblings”).
Coffee is drunk primarily at home (more than 4 in 10 coffees), with nearly half of those under 34 years old preparing it with a moka or capsules. Regarding the future: if one third of those between 18 and 24 years old begin using the famous coffee machine more frequently, then, in keeping with the younger generation’s fascination with all things vintage, the same number of 25 to 34-year-olds will lean towards coffee in capsules, popular not only because of their flavour, but also because of their quality: price ratio.
Independent of the preparation method, there’s one thing that they all more or less agree on: more than one in three people under 34 years old believe that they will drink more coffee in the future.
Nevertheless, curiosity and spending a lot of time outside of the home push young men and women to be more open to trying out different consumption experiences. In fact, alongside at-home consumption, they also appreciate the “on-the-go” method, to be enjoyed in a fast and practical way, like automatic coffee machines and the “ready to drink” formats in boxes or cans. Without forgetting about coffee bars, the second favorite place to enjoy coffee for this age range.
Not just for the flavour experience, but also as a concrete way to help the economy, during this crucial time in the country’s recovery: in fact, among those under 34 years old, almost one in two believe that going to a coffee bar helps to support small business owners, with enormous enthusiasm on the part of those under 24 years old, who, ever since the restrictions were lifted, have started frequenting these establishments even more than before.
The younger generation demonstrates more openness towards cross-contaminations; the youngest particularly enjoy preparations like Turkish and American coffee, while their older siblings are split between innovation and niche consumption methods.
One in two use automatic espresso machines more often, while one in four love preparing coffee with Neapolitan coffee machine. “AstraRicerche’s study demonstrates the extent to which coffee is a timeless symbol, capable of stretching across generations and acquiring new meanings,” declares Michele Monzini, President of the Consorzio Promozione Caffè.
“It’s interesting to observe which values young men and women assign to this beverage, at once ancient and modern, and the methods which they feel are best suited to their lifestyle. Understanding their needs is fundamental. Our vision is to increasingly turn coffee into a flavour and quality experience, a sensory and cultural journey, accompanying them in conscientious and responsible consumption.”
E-Commerce and Sustainability: Trends You Can Count On
As the digital natives they are, Italians under 34 years old have almost nothing to learn about online shopping, also when it comes to coffee. In fact, more than two thirds have recently made an online purchase on an e-commerce website, much more than the rest of the sample.
Finally, the study revealed growing attention among young consumers regarding the well-being of the planet: environmental sustainability is considered to be fundamental by six out of ten young men and women aged 18-24 years and by 50% of those aged 25-34 years, a figure that indicates the ever growing significance that this value holds in purchase choices.
“Young Italians demonstrate a strong desire to explore coffee. They’re curious and fascinated by tradition, but also much more open to less conventional consumption methods. The results of the study provide us with a profile of the younger generation that’s less predictable than we thought and that demonstrates enormous attention and sensitivity towards the future of the planet,” adds Cosimo Finzi, Director of AstraRicerche.