NCA Drinking Trends Study Shows Steady Daily Consumption, Spiked Focus On 'What's In The Cup'

Posted On: 3/18/2019

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ATLANTA -- The National Coffee Association USA offered a first look at the redesigned 2019 National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) report at its recent 2019 NCA Annual Convention in the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel here. The annual study has tracked consumer behaviors and perceptions shaping coffee trends in the U.S. for almost 70 years.
Sixty-three percent of American adults drink coffee daily, according to the NCDT, steady with 2018 consumption.
"Coffee is America's most beloved beverage -- and for good reason," said NCA president and chief executive William (Bill) Murray. "New consumer values have changed the game for coffee. But the industry is adapting -- and thriving -- by embracing innovation and transparency."
From sustainability to wellness, these realigned priorities mean that consumers are paying more attention to what's in their cup than ever before.
Despite no significant change in the quantity of coffee that people are consuming, there is a clear change in the quality and consideration of each cup, according to the survey. Most tellingly, in 2019 the share of gourmet coffee consumed past-day reached a new high of 61%. The data showed similar dynamics across espresso-based beverages, traditional coffee – gourmet, and gourmet coffee beverages on a past-week basis.
This shift is also seen in emerging consumer behavior patterns. Driven by younger coffee drinkers, the report suggests a gradual but steady increase in the share of coffee prepared out-of-home and consumed after breakfast.
The under-40 demographic is a formidable force in the coffee market, driving remarkable growth in cold brew and ready-to-drink and demonstrating growth trends. Considering how recently they've reached mainstream markets, awareness of these beverages is high -- 80% and 89% respectively. Both of these categories offer opportunities for innovation, from preparation methods to functional ingredients.
The latest NCDT also offers insight into potential opportunities for the coffee industry to connect with consumers. NCA pointed out that overwhelming scientific evidence shows that coffee offers potential health benefits, from liver health to longevity. Yet many coffee drinkers remain misinformed about coffee and health, skewed by confusion and caffeine concerns.
"Coffee and health is an opportunity for the coffee industry to connect with consumers," Murray said. "The message is clear -- coffee is good for you. But it's up to the industry to share that story."
NCA emphasized that the NCDT report is more than a set of static statistics. It's an industry tool for delving into the behaviors and perceptions driving the coffee industry in a historical context. In 2014, the NCA released an interactive dashboard to allow customizable reports.
To that end, NCA has redesigned its 2019 NCDT as a PowerPoint file, to make the data, charts and statistics more accessible for professionals to use.
The National Coffee Association of U.S.A., Inc. (NCA), established in 1911, is the leading trade organization for the coffee industry in the United States.
Click here to purchase the report.