NEW ORLEANS -- Consumers are increasingly favoring gourmet coffee options and drinking more coffee than soft drinks, according to the National Coffee Association's 2014 National Coffee Drinking Trends study. NCA's latest study is based on the results of an online survey of about 3,000 adults conducted from mid-January through mid-February. The association previewed the research findings at its annual convention here in March.
Daily consumption of gourmet coffee beverages is up to 34% of American adults, over the 31% reported in 2013's survey, while daily nongourmet coffee drinking is down to 35% from 39%.
The study also revealed that espresso-based beverages accounted for the increase in gourmet coffee beverage consumption. Daily consumption for them came in at 18% of American adults, compared with 13% reported last year, while gourmet coffee was flat at 19%. NCA defines gourmet coffee beverages as espresso-based beverages and those made with regular coffee from gourmet coffee beans.
American consumers continue to drink more coffee than soft drinks, with a gap that has widened over the last several years, according to NCA's research. Daily consumption of coffee came in at 61% of American adults, compared with soft drinks' 41%. While the widening gap stems from a decline in daily consumption of soft drinks, daily consumption of coffee remains strong but steady at 61%, compared with 63% in last year's survey.
The study's findings suggest that those 25 to 39 years of age are the strongest consumers of gourmet coffee beverages, with 42% who say they consume daily, versus 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% of whom said they drink gourmet coffee beverages daily, compared with 42% of Asian Americans, 32% of Caucasian Americans and 23% of African Americans.
The study also suggests a shift in the ways Americans brew coffee. The percentage of past-day coffee drinkers who said they prepared their coffee drinks with a single-cup brewer "yesterday" grew to 29% from 20% in NCA's 2013 survey. And the proportion of those who used a drip coffeemaker declined to 53% from 58% last year.
Additionally, 15% of Americans say that their household has a single-cup brewer, up from 12% in NCA's 2013 survey and 10% reported in 2012. Among those who do not currently own single-cup brewers, 25% say they are "very" or "somewhat" likely to buy one in the next six months, compared with 17% of same sentiment last year.
The National Coffee Drinking Trends study has been conducted annually by the NCA since 1950. It is the longest available statistical series of consumer drinking patterns in the U.S.