Coffee as a Victim of Inflation? 15% of Germans Limit Their Coffee Consumption Due to General Price Increases.

OPINION-SINUS Study for the International Day of Coffee on 1 October

"Good coffee is like good music - both touch the soul", the German musician Roger Cicero is said to have observed. Indeed, Germany is a nation of coffee indulgence: 92% consume the popular hot beverage. On the occasion of the World Coffee Day, the sister institutes SINUS and OPINION conducted a representative online study to find out: how is coffee prepared at German homes, and what types of coffee are used? How willing are Germans to experiment with coffee? And what impact do the current price increases have on coffee consumption?

Drip coffee especially popular with older people

Germans use a variety of ways to prepare coffee at home. A third (35%) of those surveyed use the numerous convenient pad or capsule systems. About the same size is the group (34%) that uses a drip coffee machine; among 60-69 year-olds, this group reaches half (51%). Fully automatic coffee machines are practically on a par (33%). Finally, a quarter (25%) use kettles or microwaves to prepare instant coffee.

When asked about their favourite coffee drink, Germans put “classic coffee” (normal drip coffee) in first place by far (41%). One fifth each (21%) swear by café crema or coffee drinks with milk. For the latter, variants without extra flavouring are clearly preferred.

Coffee consumption increases with age

Germans drink an average of 14 cups of coffee a week, or about two a day. Consumption increases with age: While Germans under 30 only have an average of seven servings per week, 60-69-year-olds drink more than double that (16 cups per week).

Germans are definitely interested in new types of coffee

A third of the population (33%) likes to try out new types of coffee, with the most open-minded being those aged 30-39. One fifth (20%) even describes coffee as a hobby that they like to spend time on. The group that attaches importance to their coffee machine being state-of-the-art is correspondingly large (19%). However, not everyone cares about the topic: as many as 32% - especially the more highly educated (39%) - think that the topic of coffee is over-hyped these days, and 17% drink coffee only for its pick-me-up effect and don't think the taste is all that important. "The survey on World Coffee Day again shows in an exemplary way how consumers perceive differentiated consumer goods, and how important it is to look at different target groups and their unique attitudes and consumer behaviours. Coffee is a very emotional topic for many Germans, but for many others it is only a means to an end (keyword ‘pick-me-up effect’)," says Thomas Maurer, Managing Director of OPINION.

Saving money on coffee, especially among younger people and East Germans

Coffee prices are also affected by the general inflation. In response, 15% report cutting back on their coffee consumption. People under 40 years of age (21%) and who live in East Germany (20%) are especially likely to do so. But willingness to pay remains high among some Germans, with 37% still happy to pay more for good coffee - especially people with a higher formal education (45%).

Sustainability and ethics important for one third

Changing norms also impact coffee consumption, with around a third of Germans (30%) stating a preference for sustainably and ethically produced coffee. This attitude is closely linked to higher education, but above all to lifestyles, as an analysis according to the Sinus-Milieu social model shows. The Sinus Milieu approach groups people in Germany into ten "groups of like-minded people" based on their values, lifestyles, and social situation.

While the sovereign educated elite of the Post-Materialist Milieu is particularly concerned about climate and social aspects when buying coffee (55%), only 11% of the Nostalgic Middle Class Milieu and the Precarious Milieu share this concern. "These two milieus are currently among the most anxious about their financial future and inflation. What counts in times of crisis such as these is getting by financially. At the same time, these people have the feeling that sustainability is being dictated to them, and rebel against it accordingly. In contrast, the Post-Materialists have a very strong sense of responsibility; they want to help ensure the well-being of humanity as a whole, even if this entails minor restrictions for themselves," says Manfred Tautscher, Managing Director of SINUS-Institut.

Coffee consumption can also be clearly mapped by milieu. Most coffee is drunk in the Traditional Milieu, the security- and order-loving older generation. At the other end of the scale is the Expeditive Milieu, ambitious creative bohemians, who consume the fewest cups per week among the milieus.

In Austria, drip coffee is passé

A survey conducted in parallel by our Austrian sister institute INTEGRAL reflects Austria’s historical coffee culture (and geographical proximity to Italy, the country of coffee connoisseurs). In Austria, drip coffee enjoys only limited popularity: only 15% prepare their coffee with a filter machine, less than half the percentage of Germans. The share of those who limit their coffee consumption due to inflation is only slightly higher in Austria (18%) than in Germany (15%), despite the fact that inflation is somewhat worse.

Methodological information

The data is based on an online survey by OPINION in which 1,001 people participated between September 06th and September 13th, 2022. The results were weighted and are representative of the German population aged 16 to 69.

About SINUS-Institut

SINUS Markt- und Sozialforschung GmbH, with offices in Heidelberg and Berlin, has specialised in psychological and social science research and consulting for over 40 years. SINUS develops strategies for companies and institutions that use socio-cultural change as a success factor.

A key tool is the Sinus-Milieus model - a model of society and target groups that summarises people according to their lifestyles in "groups of like-minded people". For decades, the Sinus-Milieus have been one of the best-known and most influential segmentation approaches in the German-speaking market and are available for over 48 countries.

SINUS cooperates closely with its sister companies INTEGRAL Markt- und Meinungsforschung in Vienna, Austria, and OPINION Market Research & Consulting, Nuremberg, Germany (INTEGRAL-SINUS-OPINION Group).

More information on SINUS-Institut at

Press contact

SINUS Markt- und Sozialforschung GmbH
Tim Gensheimer
Phone: +49 (0)6221 – 80 89 – 60


OPINION is one of the leading market research institutes in Germany, utilising expertise in ad hoc and tracking studies to accompany more than 100 national and international brands. For more than 25 years, OPINION has been helping our clients understand what drives their consumers around the globe. Our focus here is particularly on the FMCG sector with all its facets. OPINION does not offer off-the-shelf market research, but draws upon a broad spectrum of methods to design custom approaches tailored to our clients' needs.

OPINION is a member of "The Research Alliance", a global network of independent market research institutes in Europe, USA, South America, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. This enables us to augment our trusted services with local expertise in each market worldwide, to the benefit of clients with a global presence or aspirations.

More information on OPINION at

Press contact

OPINION Market Research & Consulting GmbH
Thomas Maurer
Phone: +49 (0)911 - 39 364 - 57

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