“It’s not easy being green,” said Kermit. But it is easy drinking green, thanks to matcha.
The finely milled, potent green powder has made its way from Japan to cafes and stores across the globe in recent years. Made by grinding processed green tea leaves into a fine powder, which is then sifted and whisked, matcha has captivated consumers with its unique flavor, health benefits, and aesthetic appeal. With a vibrant hue, it wasn’t long before matcha took social media by storm, populating social media feeds in the form of images of iced matcha drinks, lattes, and desserts.
Our analysis on the social media conversation surrounding matcha helps brands understand:
- The factors driving consumers’ interest in matcha
- How people are using social media to share their matcha discoveries
- Demographics of matcha drinkers.
Matcha gets the Green Light
The conversation surrounding matcha grew steadily from 2010 to 2014, but skyrocketed from 2014 to 2016. By 2015, people were asking whether matcha has become the new coffee. While coffee is not losing popularity, matcha has grown into an entity of its own.
The main matcha discussion topics can be bucketed into the following categories — the different types of matcha, health benefits, and where to get matcha.
For the different types of matcha, people discuss matcha lattes (28%), iced matchas (23%), ice cream (10%), and drinking it with almond milk (4%) or coconut milk (2%).
For health benefits, people discuss organic matcha (10%) or the antioxidants found in matcha (6%). Lastly, people discuss where they can get their matcha. Starbucks is the most popular option (9%), followed by going to a cafe (5%), then making your own (4%).
Pretty Drinks and Instagram: A Matcha Made in Heaven
When a photogenic drink arrives on the market, you can be fairly certain it will be Instagrammed.
Looking at the top Instagram hashtags, the most popular ones deal with matcha as a foodie phenomenon. Fourteen percent discuss matcha’s health benefits, which include boosting energy levels and improving memory. Six percent discuss New York City, where there are abundant matcha cafes like Chalait.
Understanding the Matcha Drinker
The matcha drinker is not your average Joe. There are key geographic patterns among matcha drinkers, in addition to demographic differences between matcha drinkers and regular tea drinkers.
The matcha discussion is concentrated on the west and east coasts. Notable top cities for discussion include Honolulu; Seattle; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Austin; New York; and Burlington, Vermont. Southern California has a high density of matcha discussion, especially in Santa Barbara, San Diego, Irvine, and Palm Springs.
Compared to regular tea drinkers, matcha drinkers skew female, with 70 percent female and 30 percent male. In contrast, the gender distribution for regular tea drinkers is 57 percent female and 43 percent male.
Regular tea drinkers are notably younger than matcha drinkers. Nineteen percent of those discussing tea are 17 and below, compared to the 15 percent for matcha drinkers. While close to half of those discussing regular tea fall within the 18-24 age range, that demographic only makes up a quarter of those discussing matcha. Forty-four percent of those discussing matcha are 35 and above, compared to a quarter of those discussing regular tea. As a more expensive product, it isn’t entirely surprising that those discussing matcha are a bit older.
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As a new trend, it’s easy to be uncertain about matcha’s future. Looking at the conversation on social helps lessen the uncertainties, helping brands understand consumer reception to matcha. This blog covers one of the beverage trends we’ve analyzed using social media data.
For our full analysis of beverage trends in the consumer packaged goods industry, download our report below.