Nespresso has grown significantly in the UK and Europe over the past fifteen years. The UK coffee market and our connoisseurship towards coffee is now on a par with our continental counterparts, with 80% of people visiting coffee shops at least once a week. Interestingly for brands like Nespresso, according to Mintel over half of coffee drinkers prefer to drink hot drinks at home rather than out-of-home, providing a big opportunity for brands offering an at-home experience.
Many assume that because the brand had George Clooney as it’s poster boy, Nespresso came from the USA first, not Europe. Not so. Mintel predicts that US consumers will spend around $5.3 billion on coffee capsules in 2018, making it a huge opportunity for the brand. But when it did come to launching the Nespresso model in the USA, a considerable time after its European success, it wasn’t a simple job of cut and paste. Firstly, the coffee culture was very different across the Atlantic. In Europe, we’re used to our short coffees – espresso shots, macchiatos or flat whites. In the USA it’s about longer, more milky coffees – not as strong and intense.
For Nespresso, this meant introducing a whole new pod system and new type of machine that caters to these tastes. As a result, the brand introduced Vertuo – a new, larger size of pod specifically designed for long cup coffee, delivering the style of coffee loved by the American market.
Looking at the consumer journey, another key insight was around the daily drinking habits and nuances of American coffee consumption. The ritual of grabbing a Starbucks on the way to work meant that making a Nespresso in the morning at home wasn’t top of mind. To counter this, a range of specifically designed breakfast blends were introduced, with the creative idea of integrating Nespresso into your morning regime.
The USA launch shows that the brand knows what assets to fix from a global point of view and what elements can flex by market. In the case of the USA, the brand takes on a lighter and more relaxed design aesthetic, different from the darker and moodier tones used in Europe.
The future success of the brand does rely on the overall experience. Over 50% of our new Nespresso Club members experience Nespresso for the first time through friends and family, showing us that relevance and consumer connection at a local market level really is the key to success.