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The percentage of Americans drinking coffee on a daily basis increased to 62 per cent this year, up from 57 per cent in 2016, according to the National Coffee Association’s (NCA’s) 2017 National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) consumption tracking report. The increase brings past-day overall coffee consumption back above 2014 levels, reversing slow declines since 2013.

Among the drivers behind the increase was soaring consumer enthusiasm for gourmet coffee varieties across most demographics. Another key driver was a robust increase in past-day coffee drinking among younger consumers, whose consumption data is being debuted in this year’s NCDT and detailed in a separate report, Generational Report: Coffee through the Ages.

“More of us are drinking coffee, and younger consumers appear to be leading the charge,” said Bill Murray, NCA president and CEO. “A steadily growing taste for gourmet varieties is also driving a wider trend toward specialty beverages.”

While the frequency of daily consumption continued to grow for all age groups, the most robust increase occurred among those 13-18, whose daily consumption rose to 37 per cent in 2017 from 31 per cent in 2016, capping a 14-point increase over 2014’s 23 per cent. The 40-59 group showed an 11-point uptick over last year – moving from 53 per cent in 2016 to 64 per cent in 2017 – but the increase essentially restored levels seen in 2014. Those 60+ moved to 68 per cent in 2017 from 64 per cent last year, while the 25-39 year olds increased from 60 per cent to 63 per cent, and the 18-24 cohort edged up to 50 per cent from 2016’s 48 per cent.

However, when gourmet coffee beverages are singled out, the changes were even more dramatic. Compared with last year, daily consumption among those 40-59 jumped to 39 per cent in 2017 versus 24 per cent in 2016. Consumption increases among the other age groups were: 36 per cent to 39 per cent for those 18-24, 41 per cent to 50 per cent for the 25-39 year olds, and 24 per cent to 34 per cent among the 60+ cohort. And among13-18 year olds, 29 per cent drank a gourmet coffee beverage yesterday, compared with 19 per cent for traditional coffee, and a 70 per cent share of the cups they drank were gourmet versus 30 per cent non-gourmet.

“Clearly, consumer enthusiasm for gourmet varieties also drove the year’s overall consumption increase,” said the NCA. It noted that the 2017 results show the largest one-year increase in past-day espresso-based beverages in NCDT history – a jump from 18 to 24 per cent. In another NCDT record, more than half of all cups of coffee consumed in the past-day were gourmet – 59 per cent in 2017 versus 46 per cent in 2012. ‘Non-espresso-based beverages,’ a new category for 2017 consisting of non- espresso, gourmet coffee-based beverages, made a strong debut in past-week consumption: frozen blended 14 per cent; cold brew 11 per cent; nitrogen-infused – 3 per cent.

Single-cup brewing continues to grow in 2017. New data shows that nearly one-third of American households (33 per cent) now own a single-cup brewer, up from 29 per cent in 2016. That means since 2012, ownership has grown nearly five-fold. Thirteen to eighteen year olds reported that single-cup ownership in their households jumped from 23 per cent to 31 per cent over the last two years. Purchase intent also increased – those who would ‘definitely or probably buy’ a single-cup brewer jumped to 17 per cent in 2017, up from 10 per cent in 2016. Similarly, definite or probable gifting intent jumped by 5 percentage points over last year.

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