When Nescafé hit a plateau in growth in the UK market, it wanted to understand consumer trends and thoughts on the usage of certain artificial ingredients, thinking their presence could be a major purchase barrier for consumers. Up to that point, the brand’s team had not been able to find a representative dataset nor method to suit its needs.
YNSIGHT Research utilized a fully bespoke research method to draw out insights to address Nescafé’s challenge. We scraped 4.2 million online conversations about coffee in the UK, including 13K about soluble coffee. A sample of 11K was filtered, of which 5000 were read and 250 were manually coded.
Artificial ingredients were hardly mentioned (0.003% of the total conversation), but the analysis revealed the true purchase barriers faced by Nescafé. There were 6 major areas of concern for consumers: Nescafé’s caffeine content, taste, smell, price, appearance and preparation. Together, these concerns pointed to the fact that because of its processed nature, Nescafé is viewed as something other than coffee by consumers. This perception of the consumers is manifested in expressions shame, guilt and even guilty pleasure.
“Instant coffee is a crime against humanity.”
With the above findings, it became clear that in order to attract new customers, Nescafé must display a stronger and more transparent connection between its products and coffee beans in order to demonstrate that Nescafé is in fact coffee. To do so, YNSIGHT Research’s recommendation to the Nescafé team was to focus its communications plan on informing their consumers that there is a clear and direct link between the actual coffee bean and the final, soluble product. The goal of this was to help increase Nescafé’s equity to the level of other coffee brands.
“MY SECRET SHAME: I DRINK INSTANT COFFEE!!”
Following YNSIGHT Research’s findings and recommendations, the Nescafé team took the initiative and refocused its advertisement copy, utilizing images that more clearly illustrate the fact that Nescafé comes from real coffee beans. The new copy has appeared both on TV and social media outlets.