Out-of home coffee drinking in US rebounds to pre-pandemic levels

Out-of-home coffee drinking in the US has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, according to the just-released Fall Edition of the 2021 National Coffee Data Trends.

The report from the National Coffee Association states that Americans have increased coffee consumption at work by 55% and at cafés and restaurants by 20% since January 2021, driving an overall 16% increase in out-of-home coffee consumption as Covid-19 restrictions have eased around the country.

The report also shows that more Americans (60%) drank coffee in the past day than drank any other beverage (including tap water), continuing coffee’s decade-long reign as America’s favourite beverage.

NCA president and CEO William “Bill” Murray commented: “It’s no surprise that home remains the most popular place to drink coffee, and that the Covid-19 pandemic drove Americans to drink more coffee at home than ever.

“As Covid restrictions ease, coffee drinkers are returning to pre-pandemic routines but also keeping their favorite new coffee options like drive-through and app-based ordering. Wherever Americans go, they keep America’s favorite beverage with them.”

Additionally, through NCA’s collaboration with the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), the NCDT gives new insight into consumer preferences within the specialty coffee segment. Young coffee drinkers continue to drive the segment’s growth, with nearly half (49%) of 25-to-39-year-olds surveyed drinking at least one cup of specialty coffee in the past day.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Coffee consumption among 25-39 year olds is at a record high – 65% drank coffee in the past day.
  • The NCDT’s first-ever summer polling finds cold brew in the top three coffee preparation methods for the first time. Consumption of cold coffee is up 50% since January 2021, surpassing even the expected seasonal levels and continuing to show the increasing popularity of cold brew which was virtually unknown when first surveyed in 2015.
  • Consumption of espresso-based beverages typically consumed away from home increased 9%, returning to January 2020 levels.

For media highlights or to purchase the complete NCDT, click here.

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