Report: U.S. Coffee Consumers Shift To Gourmet Coffee Options

April 7, 2014

Consumers appear to be shifting to gourmet coffee options, according to the National Coffee Association (NCA) National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) market research study. The research found that daily consumption of gourmet coffee beverages is up to 34 percent of American adults over 2013’s 31 percent, while daily non-gourmet coffee drinking is down to 35 percent from last year’s 39 percent.

Released during the preview of research findings at the NCA annual convention, NCDT data also reveals that espresso-based beverages accounted for the increase in gourmet coffee beverage consumption. Daily consumption of espresso-based beverages came in at 18 percent of American adults versus last year’s 13 percent, while gourmet coffee was flat at 19 percent. 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 percent of American adults, compared with soft drinks’ 41 percent. While the widening gap stems from a decline in daily consumption of soft drinks, daily consumption of coffee remains strong but steady at 61 percent versus 63 percent last year, a move within the study’s margin of error.

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

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

The NCDT also revealed 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 percent from 20 percent in 2013. However, the proportion of those who used a drip coffee maker declined to 53 percent from 58 percent last year.

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