Coffee drinkers not as loyal as you'd think

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on April 25, 2011

Coffee drinkers not as loyal as you'd think

While there are many millions of US coffee drinkers who rely completely on Starbucks, more than half of Starbucks' customer visits appear to come from customers who regularly visit Dunkin' Donuts or McDonald's for a hot beverage or breakfast, according to a benchmark study by CustomersDNA.

The study found that, during the average month, loyal customers of each of the three fast food chains (Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and McDonalds) visited their favourite outlet 6.7 times, while 'roamers' averaged 13 visits per month.

The QSRdna benchmark survey of the annual shopping habits of over 15,000 quick serve restaurant (QSR) customers found that, while 41% of Starbuck's customer visits come from customers who can be considered 'loyal' (who did not visit any other coffee or breakfast chain during the average month), another 53% who were dubbed 'roamers' also used either Dunkin' Donuts or McDonalds during the average month.

The shopping pattern for Dunkin' Donuts customers were similar (42% were loyals and 53% were roamers), while McDonald's had the most loyal customers, with 62% of the visits being made by customers who did not visit either Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts during the average month.

The study examined consumer visit patterns, frequency and customer loyalty and menu preferences across five purchase occasions (breakfast, lunch/dinner, hot beverage only, cold beverage only and frozen treat only) over the course of a 12 month period.

The obvious conclusion, according to CustomersDNA co-founder Dave Jenkins, is that capturing more of these sometime-customers is the key to winning the morning coffee and breakfast QSR battle.

"The significance of these patterns became clear when we found that the roamers purchased a hot beverage or breakfast nearly twice as often as loyals," explained Jenkins.

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