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Young Consumers Return to Coffee…and Other Trends

June 28, 2011

Photo: Gordana Adamovic-Mladenovic 

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.


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.


One of the hottest new items on the coffee scene in the past few years has been the single cup brewer. These have been heavily marketed, so it’s interesting to note that since 2005, purchases for home use have averaged one percent a year. Of those that have the single cup system, over a third bought the machine this year. The brewers are catching on, as consumers reported they are now more likely to replace their current coffee brewer with single cup. Indeed, another question showed that the perception of these brewers has improved over the last four years, with more consumers rating them as excellent or very good. It’s possible that with more and more hotels and offices using these machines, consumers are experiencing the ease of use coupled with good tasting brew.


So these are the stats that were released. We’re left with the task of figuring out what it all means.  The findings just seem to confirm what we know about coffee demand, which has continued to increase despite any economical concerns consumers might have. We’ve reported in the past that coffee is one of those items that won’t be eliminated during times of budget tightening. The gourmet coffee treat is here to stay in many consumers’ daily routine. We love coffee!






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