OnePulse reveals initial British consumer sentiment towards Coca-Cola acquisition of Costa Coffee

In the days immediately following the announcement of Coca Cola’s £3.9 billion acquisition of Costa coffee, hospitality and leisure marketing agency Elliotts Agency in collaboration with real-time consumer insight platform OnePulse gauged initial British reaction to the transaction.

OnePulse captured the opinions of 1,500 British coffee drinkers on how they felt both brands would be impacted, and these were the key results:

  • Of the 37% of respondents who believe only one company will benefit: 72% of these people believe that Coca-Cola will benefit versus only 28% believing that Costa will benefit
    • 34% of respondents believe that both brands will benefit from the acquisition
    • Only 8% believe that neither brand will benefit
  • Of the 50% who believed that Costa coffee would will change for better or worse, opinions are split down the middle on the effect- half (50%) of these people believe it will become worse, while the other half (50%) believe it will become better
    • 37% of respondents believe nothing will change at Costa Coffee from a consumer perspective
  • Of those that believe Costa Coffee will become better, key reasons were:
    • Better in-store options
    • Support and expertise from a well-known and respected brand
    • Investment potential
    • Additional sentiments available upon request
  • Of those that believe Costa Coffee will become worse, key reasons were:
    • The brand will become too commercialised and lose its British identity
    • Focus on quality coffee might lessen
    • Lack of trust in Coca-Cola
    • Additional sentiments available upon request

Ann Elliott, CEO of hospitality specialist agency Elliotts, says: “The results of this survey are truly polarising with an equal amount of consumers believing Costa will improve as believe it will get worse. The one clear connotation of this is that Coca-Cola will have to be incredibly careful how the Costa brand positions itself moving forward, taking care to appeal to skeptics whilst also making sure the brand lives up to the expectations of those who think the brand will get even better. A tough challenge that we’re incredibly excited to see unfold.”