Friday 14 June 2024
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US – NCA tracks consumption patterns by generation

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NEW YORK, NY – NCA has published Coffee Across Generations, a new report in the NCA’s National Coffee Drinking Trends market research series. The report analyzes differences in consumption behaviors and attitudes among the widely recognized generational groupings.

“Understanding how coffee consumption patterns vary by age is critical to a marketer’s successful strategies,” said NCA President & CEO Robert F. Nelson. “With today’s widely acknowledged generational differences in temperament, attitude and behavior, it is more important than ever to custom fit marketing approaches to attract and sustain a diverse, yet loyal customer base.”

In general terms, Coffee Across Generations reveals that total coffee consumption skews older, while the consumption of gourmet coffee beverages trends younger. Other data show that the more mature groups are more likely to use a drip coffee maker, while the younger cohorts favor espresso machines and ready-to-drink coffee.

Awareness of single-serve brewers is higher among the older groups, but predisposition to buy one is stronger among younger consumers.

Consumption Data

Specifically, the report shows that seventy-eight percent of “Millennials” said they have consumed coffee within the last year, compared with 85% of those in Generation X, 86% of Baby Boomers, and 90% of more mature consumers.


The spread was more pronounced for daily consumption at 47%, 68%, 72% and 80%, respectively.

However, for gourmet coffee beverages, the trend is reversed. Seventy-four percent of Millennials said they’ve consumed a gourmet coffee beverage within the past year. That compares with 72% of GenXers, 59% of Baby Boomers, and 53% of the more mature.

Regarding coffee brewing methods, 62% of the more mature group said they use a drip coffee maker, compared with 53% of Millennials. As for single-serve brewing systems, 88% of Baby Boomers and 90% of the more mature group said they are aware, as compared with 76% of Millennials.

However, about one-quarter of Millennials and GenXers said they’d be likely to buy a single-serve brewer, whereas just 12% of Baby Boomers and 8% of the more mature said the same.

Additional Data

Other data in the report span a wide array of consumption choices, patterns, frequency and attitudes.

The detailed tracking data broken out by generational groups includes: consumption time of day, share of cups of gourmet versus non-gourmet coffee, home versus out-of-home consumption, place of preparation and consumption, breakouts of coffee types and gourmet sub-types, coffee additive preferences, coffee and health attitudes, workplace coffee satisfaction, packaging format and, for single-serve brewers, the time owned, purchase likelihood, types of beverages made, and quality attitudes.

National Coffee Drinking Trends Series

Coffee Across Generations is part of the NCA’s National Coffee Drinking Trends market research series. These reports are intended to study trends in consumption over time as a way to measure the makeup of the marketplace rather than to provide data on the volumes of coffee people drink on a daily basis or over a lifetime.

NCA’s National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) series has been conducted annually byUS – NCA tracks consumption patterns by generation NCA since 1950.

It is the longest available statistical series of consumer drinking patterns in the U.S. The 2013 study engaged a nationally representative sample of 2,840 people 18 and older selected from an online panel.

About the National Coffee Association

The National Coffee Association of U.S.A, Inc. (NCA), established in 1911, is the leading trade organization for the coffee industry in the United States. NCA is the only trade association that serves all segments of the U.S. coffee industry, including traditional and specialty companies.

A majority of NCA membership, which accounts for over 90% of U.S. coffee commerce, is comprised of small and mid-sized companies and includes growers, roasters, retailers, importer/exporters, wholesaler/suppliers and allied industry businesses.

NCA offers a wide array of services, focusing on market and scientific research, domestic and international government relations, issues management and public relations, and education.

The NCA’s core purpose is to champion the well-being of the U.S. coffee industry within the context of the world coffee community.


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