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New Nca report reveals behaviors and perceptions of U.S. coffee drinkers

MILAN – The National Coffee Association USA (NCA) offered a first look at the redesigned and rebranded 2019 National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) at the 2019 NCA Annual Convention. The event took place on March 7-9 in in the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The NCDT report has tracked consumer behaviors and perceptions shaping coffee trends in the US for almost 70 years.

This year, the NCA is changing the name of the report from “National Coffee Drinking Trends” to “National Coffee Data Trends,” maintaining the long-running NCDT acronym.


According to the report, 63% of American adults drink coffee daily, steady with 2018 consumption. More Americans are regularly drinking gourmet coffees, cold brew and other specialized beverages compared to non-gourmet coffee

“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 evident in emerging consumer behavior 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 continues to be 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 of these categories offer opportunities for innovation, from preparation methods to functional ingredients.

Industry Opportunity

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.”