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NCA releases Atlas of American Coffee 

26 March 2020 | NEW YORK  – The National Coffee Association (NCA) today (Thursday) unveiled the most comprehensive survey ever of American coffee drinking habits, showing American coffee drinking has reached new highs and is essential to daily lives coast-to-coast. 

Commenting on the release of the massive new National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) report,  NCA President and CEO Bill Murray said: “The NCDT is the Atlas of American Coffee.  This year’s release shows just how much Americans rely on the energy, comfort, and normalcy of their favorite brew.  But these are challenging times, and the coffee business is not as usual. 

NCA encourages everyone in the coffee industry to continue supporting small businesses, governments, health authorities, workers, and every day Americans as we all work together to manage the profound impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.”

Key NCDT findings include:

Americans drink more coffee than ever

  • Overall coffee consumption is UP by 5% across the nation since 2015.
  • 7 in 10 Americans drink coffee every week; 62% drink coffee every day.
  • The average American coffee drinker drinks just over 3 cups per day.

 Americans drink coffee throughout the day and are looking for convenient, on-the-go options

  • Nine out of ten older coffee drinkers consume a cup at breakfast, compared to seven out of ten 18-24 year-olds do.  Young people are almost twice as likely to consume a coffee beverage at lunchtime than someone over 60.
  • Popularity of single cup brewing machines has soared by nearly 50% in the last five years.  Americans are 24% less likely than in 2015 to prepare their coffee in a traditional drip coffee maker.
  • Almost half (48%) of daily coffee drinkers who buy their coffee at a quick service restaurant, cafe, donut shop or convenience store do so through a drive-through.  And one quarter of people who have ordered a coffee outside the home in the past week have used an app to do so.

Americans are choosing premium beans and espresso-based beverages over traditional coffee

  • Nearly 60% of coffee served in the United States is ‘gourmet’ (brewed from premium beans).
  • Coffee drinkers are flocking to espresso-based beverages, with consumption of cappuccinos, lattes, and flat whites up by a staggering 50% in the same time period, driven in part by strong popularity with 25-39 year olds.
  • Cold brew and nitro coffees were virtually unknown in 2015, but now one in five Americans under age 40 consumes at least one every single week. 
  • Consumption of traditional coffee has declined by 10%, though coffee drinkers over 60 are twice as likely to consume traditional coffee as 18-24 year olds.
  • Coffee drinkers in the Northeast are almost 15% more likely to order espresso-based beverages than coffee drinkers in the Midwest.
  • New York City might be “the city that never sleeps,” but Midwesterners are least likely to order decaf. 

Coffee choices reflect Americans’ regional, cultural, and generational preferences

  • Coffee consumption increases with age, but Americans under 40 increased coffee consumption 40% since 2015.
  • Medium Roast is, overall, America’s favorite.  The West Coast leads on gourmet coffee consumption and cold brew is nearly 50% more popular there than in the South.  Southerners are 25% more likely to order frozen blended coffee than Northeasterners.
  • Espresso-based beverages are most popular with Hispanic-American coffee drinkers, and lattes are most popular with Asian-Americans. 
  • Some beverages may be trendy on social media but haven’t yet reached big numbers in general consumption.  Flat whites for example are still only a distant 9th place for Americans across the board; they are most popular with Hispanic-Americans and millennial coffee drinkers .
  • More than half of coffee drinkers (53%) want to buy coffee that is certified good for the environment and good for coffee farmers and communities.

For further information, contact media@ncausa.org or Sinead Foley, +1 (202) 631 4577.

NCDT Infographic

NCDT Infographic 2019

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