U.S. Coffee Consumption Continues To Rise; Single-Cup Use Grows

July 24, 2012

Daily coffee consumption soared by 7 percentage points, moving coffee solidly ahead of soft drinks, according to the 2012 National Coffee Drinking Trends from the National Coffee Association (NCA). Significantly, the new figures more precisely reflect consumption behaviors of the new U.S. demographic make-up, using sampling that statistically mirrors the Hispanic- and African-American segment
In other figures, total coffee jumped from 68 percent to 73 percent for past-week consumption and from 76 percent to 78 percent for past-year consumption. Daily coffee consumption, long neck-and-neck with soft drinks, has moved into a solid lead by more than 10 percentage points.

The same jump in consumption echoes across all age groups and is most significant among those between 18 and 39 years old. Among those 18 to 24 years old, daily consumption jumped from 40 percent to 50 percent and for the 25to 39 years old, 54 percent to 63 percent.

Gourmet coffee consumption also grew, moving from 37 percent of all cups of coffee consumed in the U.S. in 2011 to 46 percent in 2012.

As for coffee types, the largest jump was for gourmet coffee beverages. In 2011, 25 percent of Americans claimed to have drunk a gourmet coffee yesterday while in 2012 that number is 32 percent. The percent claiming to have drunk a traditional coffee of a gourmet variety yesterday also grew notably, from 17 percent to 22 percent.
The 2012 report shows that consumer adoption of the single-cup format continues to expand. Ownership has jumped to 10 percent from 7 percent last year, and 36 percent of those said they have owned their single-cup brewer for less than six months. Perception of the quality of coffee from single-cup systems continued to grow stronger, with 25 percent rating the brewers as “excellent” versus 15 percent who did so last year. By combining those who consider single-cup brewers as “excellent” and “very good,” the numbers become 57 percent positive this year versus 45 percent in 2011.
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 engaged a nationally representative sample of 2,955 people 18 and older. On this sample size, the data is accurate plus or minus 1.9 percent 19 times out of 20. Respondents are randomly selected from an online panel and complete the survey online. Data collection was completed mid-January through mid-February 2012 with a daily quota to ensure a balanced mix of days of the week.