NCA Study Finds Daily Coffee Consumption Outpacing Soft Drinks

Posted On: 7/20/2012

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TAGS: National Coffee Drinking Trends, coffee consumption behavior, NCA coffee study, vending, vending machine, coffee trends, office coffee service, food service, National Coffee Association, coffee study

NEW YORK CITY -- Daily coffee consumption soared by seven percentage points, moving coffee solidly ahead of soft drinks, according to the 2012 National Coffee Drinking Trends study published by the National Coffee Association of USA. According to NCA, the new figures more precisely reflect consumption behaviors of contemporary U.S. demographic makeup through sampling that statistically mirrors the Hispanic and African-American population segments.

Survey respondents reporting that they had consumed coffee during the previous week jumped from 68 to 73%; for consumption during the past year, the percentage rose from 76 to 78%. Daily coffee consumption, long virtually tied with soft drinks, has moved into a solid lead by more than 10 percentage-points, NCA observed
The consumption increase occurred in all age groups, and was most pronounced among 18-to-39-year olds. Among those 18-24, daily consumption went up from 40% to 50%; and for the 25-39 age group, from 54% to 63%.

Gourmet coffee consumption also grew, rising from 37% of all cups of coffee consumed in the U.S. in 2011 to 46% in 2012. Among coffee types, the largest jump was experienced by gourmet beverages. In 2011, 25% of Americans said they had drunk a gourmet coffee "yesterday;" in 2012, the percentage rose to 32%. Those reporting consumption of a traditional coffee of a gourmet variety "yesterday" also grew substantially, from 17% to 22%.

The 2012 report shows that consumer adoption of the single-cup brewing format continues to increase. Ownership of single-cup brewers has jumped to 10% from 7% last year, and 36% 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 improve, with 25% rating the brewers as "excellent" compared with 15% who did so last year. Combining respondents who consider single-cup brewers as "excellent" and "very good," the percentage grows to 57% positive this year, up from 45% in 2011.

NCA's "National Coffee Drinking Trends" has been conducted annually since 1950. The association reports that is the longest available statistical series of consumer drinking patterns in the U.S. The most recent 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%, 19 times out of 20, NCA explained. 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.

The report is available to NCA members for $275 (additional copies, $195 each), and to members of the Green Coffee Association, Specialty Coffee Association of America and Coffee Association of Canada for $395 (additional copies: $345 each). Nonmembers may purchase a copy for $495. Other options and ordering information may be found at