More Coffee Drinkers Drinking More Coffee, says Research

Each year, the National Coffee Association releases a voluminous study about the trends among coffee drinkers across the U.S. The National Coffee Drinking Trends report is an exhaustive study of the drinking and spending habits of coffee consumers in the country. The NCDT is practically a Bible for those who sell coffee; whether it’s in supermarkets, drive thru coffee shops or coffee cafes. It helps them determine how successful they’ve been at driving market trends and shapes their market strategies for the coming year. It also contains a wealth of information for coffee drinkers, especially those who want to know what they can expect to see on the supermarket shelves and the menus in their favorite coffee haunts.

The National Coffee Drinking Trends 2011 was released in April. It contained a number of interesting coffee tidbits for anyone who loves coffee. If nothing else, you can pepper your conversation with the factoids from the NCDT and sound like you really know your coffee markets. Here’s a quick look at the highlights of the NCDT 2011.

More Coffee Drinkers Drinking More Coffee

Coffee consumption is up among young adults. Among 18 to 24 year olds, 40% say that they drink at least one cup of coffee a day, an increase of 9% from the 31% who said the same in 2010. Among adults 25 to 39, 54% tip a cup of joe daily, an increase of 20% over last year’s 44%. Even more interesting, 29% of young adults in those age groups said that they feel better about their financial situation than they did last year. Older adults, who didn’t increase their coffee consumption over last year, significantly do not feel any better about their financial situations than they did last year. Only 12% think they’re better off financially than they were last year.

Do people drink more coffee when they feel better or does drinking coffee make you feel better? Probably neither — most likely, those who feel like they have a little extra cash are spending it on small luxuries, like coffee. That’s even more evident when you look at the coffee drinking trends from 2009 to 2010, where there’s an obvious drop in coffee consumption across all types of coffee and all age groups that coincided with a major drop in people’s attitudes about their financial health.

No matter what, though, gourmet coffee sales have remained steady as a percentage of all coffee consumed — 37% – suggesting that even in an uncertain economy, people care about the quality of their coffee. They will drink the best that they can afford, and even make sacrifices in other areas in order to continue drinking their favorite brands and types of coffee.

Coffee Drinking at Home — One Cup at a Time

When it comes to the at-home coffee market, the news is all good for those that like their java one cup at a time. Not only is there an increased awareness of single-cup coffee brewers, but their reputation is improving dramatically. Where a few years ago, single-serve coffee brewers were novelty items and most often found in office and industrial settings, today’s purchaser is more likely to be replacing their current coffee maker. In addition, 45% of those who’d sipped a cup of coffee made in a single-serve coffee brewer rated the coffee excellent or very good, up from the 35% who deemed single serve coffee to be very good or excellent in the 2007 NCDT.

Right now, the Keurig holds the lion’s share of the home single serve brewer market, with the Phillips Senseo and the Tassimo coming in a distant second and third, but there are new contenders on the market. Mr. Coffee is now selling a single serve coffee brewer that uses Keurig’s K-cups, and is sold on the Keurig website, and West Coast-based Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf offer two sleek entries into the market, the Contata and the Kaldi, so look for even more variety and choices as the market opens up to include your favorite roasters and their coffees.

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