New York (June 28, 2011) - Coffee consumption tracks strong and steady, according to the newly released 2011 National Coffee Drinking Trends, with trends suggesting a solid footing for future growth. Rebounding youth consumption, strong gourmet allegiance and expanding formats appear to bode well for the category.
"The 2011 NCDT data show strong coffee relevancy across age, variety and format options," said Robert F. Nelson, NCA President & CEO. "Together, these elements suggest a solid customer and product base for future growth."
In 2011, younger drinkers restored levels of consumption after slipping last year. Consumption among those 18-24 jumped from 31% to 40% and for the 25-39 year olds, from 44% to 54%. Overall, more than three quarters of U.S. adults drink coffee, with 58% indicating that they drink coffee daily.
These figures aligned with findings that 29% of 18-39 year olds said they feel much or somewhat better about their personal financial situation versus six months ago, contrasted with just 12% of those 40+. Conversely, 27% of the younger group felt somewhat or much worse about their personal financial situation, compared with 42% for their elders.
This year's report finds that a quarter of all coffee drinkers say they have consumed a gourmet coffee beverage within the past day. Overall share of cups remains at a strong 37%, in line with last year. These levels demonstrate the continued strength of the gourmet segment within the category.
Significantly, these data provide the truest picture yet available of today's gourmet segment. They reflect a new definition, adopted in the 2010 NCDT, that was carefully crafted to reflect changing consumer understanding and acceptance of gourmet coffee as an everyday choice.
In a new line of questioning, the report explored life-stage influences on coffee consumption. Among the adults polled, a majority said they entered the category in their teenage years. Fifty-four percent of coffee consumers said they began drinking coffee between the ages of 13 and 19, and 22% more between 20 and 24. Data also detail percentages related to each age within the range, revealing a peak of 34% between 16 and 18. Additional age breakouts are detailed in the report.
Other life-stage data show that weekly or more frequent coffee consumption increases during high school, college and working at one's first job and wanes slightly during unemployment but not retirement. It is highest among parents when older children are at home and after they have left, but not so among those with young children at home - to mention just a few of the life-stages explored.
The 2011 NCDT again polled consumers about engagement in the single-cup brewing format, after a hiatus of four years. From 2005 to 2011, the number of U.S. households owning a single-cup brewer grew at a rate averaging 1% per year through the period. In a notable departure from years past, 35% of those with a single-cup system acquired it in the past six months and purchasers are now more likely to use it to replace their current brewer.
Perceptions of the single-cup systems show a clear improvement as well. Those who rated the systems as excellent or very good has jumped to 45% this year versus 26% in 2007.
National Coffee Drinking Trends
NCA's National Coffee Drinking Trends study has been conducted annually by NCA since 1950. It is the longest available statistical series of consumer drinking patterns in the U.S. The study engages a nationally representative sample of 2,826 people 18 and older. Respondents are randomly selected from an online panel and complete the survey online. Data collection was completed mid-January through mid-February 2011 with a daily quota to ensure a balanced mix of days of the week.
Find out more about the 2011 NCDT, which is available in hard copy and pdf. For those interested in more detailed findings, a full set of tabular data is also available.