Espresso-based beverages on the rise in US

Daily consumption of espresso-based beverages in the US has nearly tripled since 2008, according to the 2016 National Coffee Association’s (NCA) National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) survey, released Saturday at the NCA Annual Convention. At 18 per cent of U.S. adult consumers in 2016, it signals a promising category shift, supported by younger consumer tastes, that outpaces flat overall consumption. 

And it's Millennials who are driving the increase, the study has found. Between 2008 and 2016, past-day consumption of gourmet coffee beverages soared from 13 per cent to 36 per cent among 18-24 year olds and from 19 per cent to 41 per cent for those in the 25-39 year age brackey. For espresso-based beverages alone, the jumps become 9 per cent to 22 per cent for the 18-24 group and 8 per cent to 29 per cent for those 25-39.

“Consumption trends and generational patterns seem to be syncing up in promising ways,” says Bill Murray, NCA President and CEO. “As younger consumers enter the category in larger numbers, their tastes are supporting broader trends in consumer behaviour.”

Overall, consumption of past-day gourmet coffee beverages remains strong in the US at 31 per cent, on par with last year, but up from 24 per cent in 2008. Similarly, past-day espresso-based beverage drinking is up by two percentage points over last year, coming in at 18 per cent, nearly three times 2008's 7 per cent.

At the same time, the influx of younger consumers into the category is part of an even larger pattern. Daily coffee consumption among 18-24 year olds nearly doubled between 2000 and 2016, jumping from 25 per cent to 48 per cent, and among those 25-39 it rose by 18 per cent, from 42 per cent to 60 per cent.

Other data from the 2016 NCDT show that older Millennials, the 25-39 group, are the most likely group to drink gourmet coffee beverages weekly, along with specific options including cappuccino, latte, café mocha, espresso, macchiato, flat white and cold-brew coffee. The younger Millennials, however, edge them out in frozen blended coffee. Overall, though, Millennials far outstrip consumption of all gourmet coffee beverage varieties among the 40-59 and 60+ age groups.

Over the last five years, single-cup brewer ownership has more than quadrupled, reaching 29per cent of American consumers, While the growth pace has slowed, with a two percent increase over 2015, the category remains strong, doubling over the last two years alone,

Single-cup brewing is also quickly gaining on the drip method in coffee preparation. In 2016, 28 per cent of daily coffee drinkers used a single-cup brewer, up from 25 per cent from last year and just 9per cent five years ago. At the same time, drip preparation has fallen to 50 per cent from 54 per cent last year and 70 per cent in 2011.

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