NCA’s 2019 NCDT Study Finds US Consumption Remains Steady

The National Coffee Association (NCA) of the United States offered a first look at the redesigned 2019 National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) at the 2019 NCA Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. The NCA NCDT report has tracked the consumer behaviours and perceptions shaping coffee trends in the US for almost 70 years.

According to the NCDT, 63% of American adults drink coffee daily, steady with 2018 consumption. “Coffee is America’s most beloved beverage – and for good reason,” said William (Bill) Murray, NCA president & CEO. “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. And while we’re not seeing a significant change in the quantity of coffee that people are consuming, there is a clear change in the quality and consideration
of each cup.

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 behaviour patterns. Driven by younger coffee drinkers, we’re seeing 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. They’re driving remarkable growth in cold brew and ready-to-drink are also demonstrating exciting growth trends. Considering how recently they’ve reached mainstream markets, awareness of these beverages is high – 80% and 89% respectively. Both 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. 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.”

The NCA explained that the NCDT report is more than a set of static statistics. It’s an industry tool for delving into the behaviours 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, the 2019 NCDT has been redesigned as a PowerPoint file, to make the data, charts, and statistics more accessible for professionals to use.

The 2019 NCA National Coffee Data Trends report is now available for purchase at ncausa.org.

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