PRESS RELEASE: Consumers Shifting to Gourmet Coffee Options, Says New NCA Market Research

March 22, 2014

Joe DeRupo

Consumers Shifting to Gourmet Coffee Options,
Says New NCA Market Research

Coffee Continues to Widen Lead over Soft Drinks,
Daily Consumption Strong but Steady


New Orleans, LA (March 22, 2014) – Consumers appear to be shifting to gourmet coffee options, according to the NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) market research study. Daily consumption of gourmet coffee beverages is up to 34% of American adults over 2013’s 31%, while daily non-gourmet coffee drinking is down to 35% from last year’s 39%.

Released during today’s preview of research findings at the NCA annual convention, NCDT data also reveal that espresso-based beverages accounted for the increase in gourmet coffee beverage consumption. Daily consumption of espresso-based beverages came in at 18% of American adults versus last year’s 13%, while gourmet coffee was flat at 19%. Gourmet coffee beverages consist of espresso-based beverages and regular coffee made with gourmet coffee beans.

American consumers continue to drink more coffee than soft drinks, with a gap that has widened over the last several years. Daily consumption of coffee came in at 61% of American adults, compared with soft drinks’ 41%. While the widening gap stems from a decline in daily consumption of soft drinks, daily consumption of coffee remains strong but steady at 61% versus 63% last year, a move within the study’s margin of error.

Among demographic specific data, NCDT findings indicate that those 25-39 years of age are the strongest consumers of gourmet coffee beverages, with 42% who say they consume daily, as compared with about one-third among consumers aged 18-24 and those 40-59, and just one-quarter of those 60+.

Daily consumption of gourmet coffee beverages is also strongest among Hispanic-Americans, 48% of whom said they drink gourmet coffee beverages daily, as compared with 42% of Asian-Americans, 32% of Caucasian-Americans and 23% of African-Americans.

Brewing Methods
The NCDT also reveals a shift in the ways Americans brew coffee. The percentage of past-day coffee drinkers who prepared their coffee with a single-cup brewer yesterday grew to 29% from 20% in 2013. However, the proportion of those who used a drip coffee maker declined to 53% from 58% last year.

Other data indicate that 15% of Americans say that their household has a single-cup brewer, up from 12% in 2013 and 10% in 2012. Among those who do not currently own a single-cup brewer, 25% say they are very or somewhat likely to buy one in the next six months, as compared with 17% last year.

National Coffee Drinking Trends
The NCA’s National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) study has been conducted annually by the NCA since 1950. It is the longest available statistical series of consumer drinking patterns in the U.S. The study engaged a nationally representative sample of about 3,000 people 18 and older. Respondents are selected from an online panel with ethnic breakouts aligned proportionately with the makeup of the U.S. population. Respondents complete the survey online in English or Spanish at their choosing. Data was collected mid-January through mid-February 2014 with daily quotas to ensure a balanced mix of days of the week.

Part of the NCA Market Research Series, the NCDT is joined by additional studies with distinct foci that expand the breadth and depth of actionable market intelligence available to the industry to propel strategic planning and product development. Coffee and Ethnicity takes a deep dive into the distinctions in coffee consumption habits among U.S. ethnic groups. Reflecting the proportional makeup of the U.S. population and engaging both English and Spanish questionnaires, this study examines consumption patterns among Hispanic-Americans, further broken down by levels of acculturation and countries of origin, as well as African-Americans. The Single-Serve Format: Evolving Perceptions, Continued Growth takes a deep dive into trends, behaviors and attitudes surrounding consumer adoption of the single-cup format. NCA Market Research Series studies are available in hard copy and pdf formats.

About the National Coffee Association
The National Coffee Association of U.S.A, Inc. (NCA), established in 1911, is the leading trade organization for the coffee industry in the United States. The NCA is the only trade association that serves all segments of the U.S. coffee industry, including traditional and specialty companies. A majority of NCA membership, which accounts for over 90% of U.S. coffee commerce, is comprised of small and mid-sized companies and includes growers, roasters, retailers, importer/exporters, wholesaler/suppliers and allied industry businesses. The NCA offers a wide array of services, focusing on market and scientific research, domestic and international government relations, issues management and public relations, and education. The NCA's core purpose is to champion the well-being of the U.S. coffee industry within the context of the world coffee community. Visit our website for additional information about the NCA and the world of coffee.

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