Strong Daily Consumption

May 7, 2018

The majority of Americans love coffee, or at least getting their daily fix. The latest National Coffee Association (NCA) data about drinking trends reports that 64 percent of Americans drink coffee on a daily basis, a number that held steady from the previous year, but showed a 5 percentage point jump over 2016. It’s note worthy because the strong daily consumption in 2017 and 2018 reverse a slow decline in daily consumption noted as early as 2013 by the NCA.

Coffee preferences remain steady

The type of coffee consumed past day was relatively unchanged from 2017 to 2018, with 24 percent of Americans reporting they drank espresso-based beverages, 16 percent traditional coffee made from gourmet beans and 31 percent enjoying traditional coffee not considered gourmet.  

All age groups favor gourmet coffee

The division between traditional and gourmet coffee drinkers continues to be drawn with age groups. Traditional coffee does best in older demographics, while only 19 percent of 18 to 24 year-olds report drinking it. In contrast, gourmet coffee has a broader appeal with more than 30 percent of both 18 to 24 year-olds and those over 60 years old drinking gourmet coffee. 

Rise of post-breakfast

While the majority of coffee drinkers still drink it at breakfast, later day parts are slowly gaining, according to the NCA.
In 2018, 41 percent of consumers drank coffee between breakfast and lunch, an increase from 2012 when it was 36 percent. However, evening consumption dropped 3 percentage points from 2017 levels, reaching 13 percent.

Decrease in out-of-home

One worrisome statistic from the National Coffee Drinking Trends report is that out-of-home coffee consumption has dropped from 40 percent in 2017 to 36 percent in 2018. The reason for this is unclear. While the NCA has historically found a correlation between consumer confidence in their personal financial situation and their consumption of out-of-home coffee, this hasn’t happened in 2018. Only 11 percent reported a “worse” financial situation, a decline from 14 percent the year before. However, out-of-home consumption dropped 4 percentage points.   

One possible cause could be that workplaces are removing coffee areas. The NCA reports that the percentage of drinkers who claim to have a workplace coffee area declined to 71 percent in 2018, from 74 percent. 
The high daily consumption of coffee remains positive news for the industry. Gourmet types appeal to the broadest audience, especially during the mid-morning timeframe.