Daily Coffee Consumption Up Sharply

While the frequency of daily consumption continued to grow for all age groups, the most robust increase occurring is among those ages 13-18.

May 01, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas  – The percentage of Americans drinking coffee on a daily basis increased to 62% this year, up from 57% in 2016, according to the NCA’s 2017 National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) consumption tracking report. The increase brings past-day overall coffee consumption back above 2014 levels, reversing slow declines since 2013.

Among the drivers behind the increase was consumer enthusiasm for gourmet coffee varieties across most demographics. Another key driver was a robust increase in past-day coffee drinking among younger consumers.

“More of us are drinking coffee, and younger consumers appear to be leading the charge,” said Bill Murray, NCA president and CEO. “A steadily growing taste for gourmet varieties is also driving a wider trend toward specialty beverages.”

While the frequency of daily consumption continued to grow for all age groups, the most robust increase occurred among those ages 13-18, whose daily consumption rose to 37% in 2017 from 31% in 2016, capping a 14-point increase of 23% in 2014. The 40- to 59-year-old age group showed an 11-point uptick over last year, moving from 53% in 2016 to 64% in 2017, but the increase essentially restored levels seen in 2014. Those 60+ moved to 68% in 2017 from 64% last year, while the 25- to 39-year-olds increased from 60% to 63%, and the 18-24 cohort edged up to 50% from 2016’s 48%.

However, when gourmet coffee beverages are singled out, the changes were even more dramatic. Compared with last year, daily consumption among those ages 40-59 jumped to 39% in 2017 versus 24% in 2016. Consumption increases among the other age groups were: 36% to 39% for those ages 18-24; 41% to 50% for the 25- to 39-year-olds; and 24% to 34% among the 60+ cohort.

Consumer enthusiasm for gourmet varieties also drove the year’s overall consumption increase:

  • The 2017 results show the largest one-year increase in past-day espresso-based beverages in NCDT history, a jump from 18 to 24%.
  • In another NCDT record, more than half of all cups of coffee consumed in the past-day were gourmet: 59% in 2017 versus 46% in 2012.
  • “Non-Espresso-Based Beverages,” a new category for 2017 consisting of non-espresso, gourmet coffee-based beverages, made a strong debut in past-week consumption:
  • Frozen Blended: 14%
  • Cold Brew: 11%
  • Nitrogen-infused: 3%

Single-cup brewing continues to grow exponentially in 2017. The NCA data shows that nearly one-third of American households (33%) now own a single-cup brewer, up from 29% in 2016. That means since 2012, ownership has grown nearly five-fold. Thirteen to 18-year-olds reported that single-cup ownership in their households jumped from 23% to 31% over the last two years.

Purchase intent also increased, as those who would “definitely or probably buy” a single-cup brewer jumped to 17% in 2017, up from 10% in 2016. Similarly, definite or probable gifting intent jumped by 5 percentage points over last year.

Read more on coffee in convenience stores in the current issue of NACS Magazine.