We consume it in the evening and during the afternoon: one in three Hungarians regularly drink decaffeinated coffee

Costa Coffee entered the decaffeinated coffee market in Hungary. The brand is introducing a coffee capsule product compatible with Nespresso coffee machines to retail, so now also those who do not or just occasionally drink caffeinated drinks can experience the premium quality of Costa Coffee without making compromise. According to a joint survey conducted by Costa Coffee and gkid, the proportion of people who prefer decaffeinated coffee is high: one in three respondents drink it regularly, mostly because they like the experience of drinking coffee but do not want to consume more caffeine.

Sales of decaf Nespresso compatible coffee capsules increased by 20 percent by value in the total coffee market from 2021 to 2022, compared to 17 percent for caffeinated products. Despite the fact that the decaffeinated version accounts for 2 percent of the total coffee market by value and only 1 percent by volume, more than a third of coffee consumers drink decaf products on a more or less regular basis.

Costa Coffee's portfolio expansion aims to reach more consumers and to provide a solution for more coffee drinking occasions - in line with Coca-Cola HBC Hungary's business strategy, which strives to offer a solution at every hour of day for each consumption occasion that arises.

Costa Coffee and gkid interviewed nearly 3,000 Hungarian coffee consumers about their drinking habits in the first quarter of this year: they particularly wanted to know what consumers think about decaffeinated coffee and why do they choose it? The representative survey found that 34 percent of the respondents drink decaf version (as well), most of them in the afternoon and evening.

One in three coffee consumers drink decaf coffee as well

Costa Coffee entered the domestic premium coffee market in 2020, with only caffeinated products at that time. The coffee market is currently being driven by the dynamic development of two segments: Nespresso compatible capsule coffee, where Coca-Cola HBC Hungary, the distributor of Costa Coffee, has a 5.5 percent market share, and the coffee beans segment, where the company has a 3.4 percent market share. Coca-Cola HBC Hungary decided to enter the market with the Decaf Blend product, as the capsule coffee segment is growing most dynamically, and, according to the research, this segment has the highest consumer openness to decaffeinated alternatives.

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34 percent of survey respondents said they drink decaf coffee with some regularity: a quarter of them consume it once a day, while half of the participants drink it several times a day, but only a small proportion (3 percent) drink it exclusively. A higher proportion of women drink only decaffeinated coffee (4 percent) and it is also more popular among young people – 5 percent of 18-24-year-olds choose only decaf. In fact, the proportion of young people who prefer decaf coffee over the regular version is quite high, with 14 percent of the 18-29 age group drinking it.

The results show that the majority of respondents occasionally choose decaffeinated options – one in four survey fillers claimed this. Of course, some people stick to their regular caffeinated coffee: for 34 percent of them, decaf is not an option.

If the caffeine is too much

Costa Coffee, a new entrant to the decaffeinated coffee market, and gkid asked people why they drink decaf java: the main reason given by around half of the respondents was that it is a good solution if they do not want to exceed their daily coffee intake or do not want to drink more caffeine that day. One in five respondents consume decaffeinated coffee because they can have it at any time of day, while 13 percent insist on enjoying a cup of java but do not need caffeine. One in ten participants avoid caffeine for health reasons, while the same proportion drink decaf version because they can indulge their passion for coffee this way without any compromise. Despite the changing economic environment, quality coffee continues to be an important need for consumers in Hungary, according to Nielsen’s 2022 data: Hungarians seem to be sticking to the idea of enjoying high quality coffee in their everyday lives - and now they can do so without caffeine.

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As decaf coffee does not affect sleep or relaxation, about half of the respondents consume it in the afternoon and evening, but nearly a quarter of them prefer the decaffeinated coffee also in the morning.

Decaffeinated coffee is also real coffee

Costa Coffee also wanted to know why one third of the respondents do not consume the decaf version if they drink coffee regularly. According to 29 percent of the participants, caffeine is the essence of having a cup of coffee, so if they want a decaffeinated drink, they prefer tea or chocolate milk (23 percent). 


The biggest misconception about decaf coffee is that it is not real coffee. This is not true, because - using the most advanced technological processes - decaffeinated coffee has the same enjoyment value as the traditional drink. The decaffeination process removes about 97 percent of the caffeine in coffee beans, so it is not correct to say that the decaf version is 100 percent caffeine-free. It contains such low amounts of it that the human body does not respond in any noticeable way.

Iván Gávris Coffee expert of Coca-Cola HBC Hungary

Nearly a fifth of the respondents have not yet thought about why they do not drink decaffeinated coffee – they also have the opportunity to try Costa Coffee's brand new decaf capsule product.

Besides ground and bean coffee products, Costa Coffee is also present in the Nespresso compatible capsule coffee market with excellent beverages such as the silky and nutty Signature Blend Espresso or its long coffee version, the Signature Blend Lungo. The honey-infused The Bright Blend Espresso, the caramelly The Colombian Roast Espresso and the strong, almondy The Lively Blend Ristretto. This range is now extended with Decaf Blend made from selected Arabica and Robusta coffee beans.


The survey was conducted by gkid Research & Consulting on behalf of Coca-Cola HBC Hungary in February 2023, interviewing 3,271 individuals.