Foodservice

Daily Coffee Consumption at 20-Year High, Report Says

On any given day, 67% of American adults have coffee—tops among all beverages, according to National Coffee Association
Hands holding coffee
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The number of adults in the United States who have consumed coffee in the past day is up 37% since 2004, putting past-day coffee consumption at its highest level in more than 20 years, according to a recent consumer poll by the National Coffee Association (NCA), New York.

The NCA’s Spring 2024 National Coffee Data Trends report shows that 67% of American adults had coffee in the past day—more than any other beverage, including second-place bottled water (63%) and third-place tap water (51%)—compared with 49% in 2004. Tea is fourth, at 47%, followed by soft drinks at 42% and juice at 23%.

In addition, 75% of American adults have had coffee in the past week, up by 4% since 2023’s report.

“Increased past-day coffee consumption is driven by consumers ages 25-plus,” the association said, noting that the greatest increase in the past year is among consumers 60 and above, whose past-day consumption increased by 9% (from 67% to 73%). Consumers 25-39 and 40–59 both saw consumption rise 4.5% (from 67% to 70% and from 66% to 69%, respectively). Consumption by 18–24-year olds held steady at 47%.

Specialty coffee also experienced significant growth, the association said, with 57% of American adults drinking a specialty coffee in the past week, up by 7.5% year-over-year.

“Among specialty coffees, past-week consumption grew the most for espresso-based beverages, up by 10%,” the NCA said. “Lattes are the most popular espresso-based beverage, enjoyed by 18% of American adults in the past week and followed by espresso (16%) and cappuccinos (14%).”

Other highlights:

  • For past-day coffee consumption for those 18 and older, coffee consumption is highest in the West, at 69%, followed by Northeast at 68%, South at 66% and Midwest at 65%.
  • American coffee drinkers consume an average of 2.7 cups per day.

When and where do American coffee drinkers have their brews?

  • 84% with breakfast
  • 35% mid-morning
  • 17% with lunch (up more than 6% since 2023)
  • 22% in the afternoon (up nearly 5% since 2023)
  • 7% at dinner
  • 10% in the evening
  • 35% of past-day coffee drinkers had coffee out of their home

While 80% of yesterday’s cups were hot, up 7% from summer 2023, cold-brew perceptions continue to heat up:

  • 73% have an excellent/very good view of cold brew.
  • 48% think cold brew can make a wide variety of beverages.
  • 48% think drinking cold brew is a cool/trendy thing to do.
  • 41% think cold brew is easy to make at home.

Ready-to-drink coffee became the third most popular preparation method among past-day coffee drinkers, nearly doubling from 8% to 15% in the last year and bumping espresso machines to fourth place, at 10%, the NCA said. Drip coffee makers (37%) and single-cup brewers (28%) continue to be the top two at-home preparation methods. Instant coffee (can or jar) is fifth at 8%.

NCA President and CEO Bill Murray said, “NCA’s exclusive research has tracked coffee trends for more than 70 years, and America’s favorite beverage has only ever continued to grow in terms of overall popularity and in innovating to meet consumers’ evolving tastes. This year’s two-decade high is only the latest proof of America’s enduring love affair with coffee.”        

The National Coffee Association, established in 1911, is the oldest and largest U.S. trade organization representing coffee businesses of all types and sizes, including the producers, roasters, brands and other businesses responsible for 90% of U.S. coffee commerce. More American adults drink coffee each day than any other beverage, and coffee supports 2.2 million U.S. jobs—operating in every state and territory and contributing nearly $350 billion to the U.S. economy every year.

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