March 27, 2017

59% of US Coffee Drinkers Choose “Gourmet”


The NCA’s 2017 National Coffee Drinking Trends was launched at their annual convention this weekend, and it’s good news for the coffee industry.

In the US, coffee consumption is up, “gourmet” coffee consumption is up, and single-cup home brewing is up. Even better, these increases are being led by younger generations. Read on to find out more about what was announced when we attended the NCA Annual Convention.

SEE ALSO: Why You Need to Offer Millennials More Than Just Coffee

Woman drinks from white coffee mug

Coffee consumption is up in the US. Credit: Vanessa Porter via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Coffee Consumption Driven by Younger Generations

The number of US Americans who drank a cup of coffee in the last day rose from 57% to 62% this year. What’s more, while older generations remain the biggest coffee consumers, the fastest growth is being seen among teens.

Consumption among 13–18-year-olds increased to 37%, up from 31% last year and 23% in 2014. That makes for a growth of more than 150% in just three years.

Those aged 40–59 have also seen a dramatic uptake in coffee consumption (64% compared to 53% last year), but the NCA point out that this is merely a reversal to 2014 consumption levels. The largest amount of coffee consumption comes among those aged 60+, while once you reach the under-25s it falls steadily.

With US Americans picking up the coffee habit earlier and earlier, this indicates continued growth for the coffee industry – and, even more excitingly, for the specialty coffee industry, with its appeal to younger generations.

Young girl drinks Starbucks coffee

Younger generations are drinking more coffee. Credit: Alice Keeler via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

“Gourmet” Coffee Consumption Up

“Gourmet” is a loose term that can encompass specialty and commodity-grade coffee. The NCA include “non-espresso based beverages”, cold brew, nitro, and more in their definition. It’s important to note, therefore, that these statistics won’t just reflect consumption of third wave brews. What they will indicate, however, is the level of concern for quality and the willingness to pay more for better drinks.

And these are great stats: of all the people who drank coffee in the past day, 59% of them consumed at least one gourmet cup. That’s 36.5% of the US’s population.

It’s worth mentioning, as well, that this doesn’t mean those people only drank gourmet coffee. But this is a record-breaking figure for the NCA, and the increasing normalisation of specialty coffee is a good sign for the future. Speaking of which…

Someone pours water into a V60 to brew coffee

“Gourmet” and single-cup coffee grows more popular. Credit: Yara Tucek via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Single-Cup Home Brewing Grows Exponentially

More and more people are using single-cup brewers at home. 33% of US households own one, whether it’s a V60, Kalita Wave, AeroPress, or something else altogether. According to the NCA, that’s a 500% growth rate from 2012.

This indicates that more and more people are treating coffee not as a social drink, or something to gulp down fast, but rather as a single cup to be enjoyed on its own. And the more people enjoy coffee for coffee’s sake, the more the specialty industry is going to grow.

Perfect Daily Grind

Want to read more articles like this? Sign up to our newsletter!