Coffee Trends – America’s Young People Drink More Coffee Despite Tough Economic Times

According to trends documented by the National Coffee Association (NCA) in their just-released 2011 National Coffee Drinking Trends, coffee drinking remains strong – resistant to the economical downturn. In fact, 10% more young people than last year reported drinking coffee this year. This is one pattern among several others covered in the report. Other areas included gourmet coffee consumption, life-stage data and opinions of the single cup brewer.

2011 Study Highlights – Coffee Consumption is Up

  • 40% of 18-24 year olds drink coffee daily, up from 31% in 2010.
  • 54% of adults age 25-39, said they drink coffee daily, up from 44% in 2010.
  • These figures aligned with findings that 29% of those 18-39 felt better about their financial situation than last year, while other age groups did not.
  • Gourmet coffee continues to be a significant portion (37%) of total coffee consumed – indicating that consumers want to maintain coffee quality despite the uncertain economy.

At Home Market

  • 86% of coffee consumers enjoyed their beverage at home compared to 24% who drink out of home past day, on par with 2010 findings. (Note that these figures include those who drink coffee both at home and away.)
  • Penetration is growing in the single serve arena at an average of 1% per year, and 35% of those with a pod system acquired it in the past six months. Purchasers of the pod system are now more likely to use it to replace their current brewer. There is an increased awareness of single-cup systems with 45% who think the systems are excellent or very good in 2011, compared to 26% in 2007.

The report correlated the increase in younger age coffee consumption with an increase in the perception of their personal financial situations over the past six months. This was interesting, because in the 40 plus age group, a higher percentage felt worse about the financial situation. There was no mention of whether or not coffee consumption went down among those over 40.

However, it was found that over three quarters of the adult population drinks coffee, though the figure for daily consumption goes down to 58%. Over a third of that is gourmet coffee, which accounts for 37% of all coffee drinks.

It was also found that more than three out of four coffee drinkers was drinking the beverage before the age of 24. Many started in their teens.


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