COVID-19 drives record at-home coffee drinking, on-the-go ordering: 2021 National Coffee Data Trends Report

COVID-19 drove record coffee consumption at home, with 85 per cent of coffee drinkers having at least one cup at home (up 8 per cent since January 2020) and average daily consumption steady at nearly two cups per capita, according to the Spring 2021 National Coffee Data Trends Report (NCDT).

The National Coffee Association (NCA) report, conducted by Dig Research, also found that more Americans (nearly 60 per cent) choose coffee each day than any other beverage, including tap water.

While COVID-19 restrictions and closures continue to crimp coffee preparation away from home in the United States (workplace coffee consumption is down 55 per cent since January 2020), on-the-go options are flourishing – drive through and app-based ordering are both up 30 per cent.

The Spring 2021 NCDT was, for the first time, conducted with the support of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), allowing the NCA to bring this exclusive market research to more members of the coffee community than ever before. at a critical time in the industry’s COVID-19 recovery.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has kept many people at home for the better part of a year, and the latest ‘Atlas of American Coffee’ shows they took their coffees with them.  In fact, we’ve seen Americans embracing their new coffee routines, experimenting with new coffees, and even trying to replicate their favorite beverages at home,” NCA President and CEO William “Bill” Murray comments.

“Now, with light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, many Americans are also now returning to their favorite coffee businesses or plan to do so within the next month.”

More than 40 per cent of Americans bought types of coffee (e.g., new brand, roast, or type of beans) they had never tried before during the pandemic, and nearly one third tried to replicate a favourite coffee shop beverage at home. One-quarter of Americans purchased new coffee formats (e.g., trying single cups, instant, ground, or whole beans), and nearly one-quarter purchased a new home coffee machine.

While enjoying new home coffee routines, about 35 per cent of Americans miss their favourite coffee businesses and beverages. Nearly half of Americans (48 per cent) are already returning to coffee shops or plan to within the next month.

As some Americans return to work, they are getting more comfortable using shared coffee stations and returning to local coffee businesses. Compared to September 2020, 23 per cent fewer have decreased use of shared coffee stations because of the pandemic, and 17 per cent more have returned to local coffee shops.

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Graphic: NCA

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