NEW ORLEANS, LA -- The National Coffee Association of U.S.A. previewed its latest National Coffee Drinking Trends report, presenting highlights of the long-running annual study for 2011 at its annual convention in New Orleans.
A highlight of the 2011 report is the finding that consumption among 18- to 39-year-old consumers has risen to levels attained in 2008 and 2009, reversing the decline experienced last year. NCA attributes this recovery to increased confidence on the part of that age cohort in their personal financial circumstances.
The study reaffirmed that the coffee category remains strong, further closing the already slender gap with soft drinks.
NCA president and chief executive officer Robert F. Nelson emphasized that the 2011 NCDT data demonstrate the continued profound relevance of coffee, despite the proliferation of beverage options. "A rebound in consumption among younger drinkers demonstrates strong category loyalty, which suggests a solid customer base for future growth," he pointed out.
In the 2011 study, 40% of 18- to 24-year-olds said they drink coffee every day, up from 31% in 2010 and equal to 2009's percentage. Of consumers 25 to 39 years old, 54% said they drink coffee daily, up from 44% in 2010 and ahead of 2009's 53%. These figures correlate well with findings that 29% of those from 18 to 39 years old feel better about their financial situation than last year, while other age groups did not.
Gourmet coffee continues to represent a substantial portion of total coffee consumption, indicating that consumers want to maintain coffee quality even during uncertain economic conditions.
The great majority of coffee consumers, 86%, reported drinking coffee at home on the past day compared with the 24% who drank coffee away from home on the past day. NCA notes that this is consistent with 2010 behavior, and explained that survey respondents included those who drink coffee both at home and away.
Market penetration by single-cup systems is growing at an average of 1% a year, the study found, and 35% of consumers with a pod system acquired it in the past six months. Moreover, people who buy pod systems now are more likely to use one to replace (rather than supplement) an existing brewer. Perception of single-cup systems is improving too, climbing from the 26% who thought them "excellent" or "very good" in 2007 to 45% who think them so this year.
NCSA was founded in 1911, and marked its 100th anniversary at this year's convention. It represents all segments of the coffee industry, including both traditional and specialty companies. Some 90% of its members are small and mid-sized firms including growers, roasters, retailers, importers and exporters, wholesalers and other suppliers, and allied industry businesses.
NCA offers a wide array of services in the areas of market and scientific research, domestic and international government relations, issues management and public relations, and industry education.