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Do Coffee Drinkers Care About Sustainability?

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail


Do Coffee Drinkers Care About Sustainability?

This is naturally an important question, because as businesses and brands we want to create value for our customers. When it comes to sustainability, the research has been somewhat inconclusive. Consumers will say they value sustainability, particularly younger consumers, but that doesn’t always translate to purchase behavior. So, the question persists… do they care?

Increasing, the answer is proving to be yes. Research is showing that the issue is less about consumers’ commitment to sustainability, and more about their understanding and trust. Consumers need to understand and really trust a company’s commitment to sustainability for it to effect purchase behavior.

Until recently, companies have leaned heavily on third-party certifications to convey their sustainability commitments. Recent research conducted by S&D with young coffee drinkers reveals certifications can be a very important supporting element, but alone do not convey commitment. Holistic programs and clear proof of impact, particularly related to environmental issues, are far more compelling to young coffee drinkers. More highlights from our study are available in this downloadable studyMillennial Coffee Drinkers & Key Purchase Drivers for the Role of Sustainability.

Authored by Tracy Ging, previous S&D Coffee & Tea VP of Sustainability & Strategic Initiatives.

/// S&D Coffee & Tea, in continuous operation since 1927, serves over 90,000 customers through national distribution and direct store delivery. S&D has been distinguished for supplier excellence by many of the largest retailers and consumers of coffee and iced tea, including McDonald’s and the U.S. Military. In 2009, S&D added a state-of-the-art Liquid Extracts Division, which extracts the flavors of coffee, tea and botanicals for use in iced coffee, shakes, ice cream and frozen desserts, energy drinks and other packaged and dispensed products. Operators can learn more about the innovative beverage solutions that S&D Coffee & Tea offers by visiting the company website at or by contacting Jim Edmonson at

The opinions and advice given by guest post contributors are not necessarily those of NATSO Inc. The posts should not be considered legal advice. Qualified professionals should be sought regarding advice and questions specific to your circumstances.

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About the Author

John Buckner

John Buckner

John Buckner joined S&D Coffee & Tea in 2009, after a 20-year career in sales and marketing for several Fortune 500 companies. He has a track record of generating profitable growth by building brands, successfully launching new products and gaining distribution.

His team is responsible for beverage strategies, new product development, customer-centered marketing, market research, merchandising, trade shows, media planning and advertising.

Buckner holds a master’s degree from the University of Virginia, and an executive MBA from Queens University’s McColl School of Business in Charlotte, N.C.