Money & Business

Report: Coffee Market Surges as Consumers Grab Fancier Drinks

By / Mar 27, 2017 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Gourmet cups of coffee, whether made from espresso or otherwise, have come to define the U.S. coffee market, according to the National Coffee Association. The trade group reports that coffee consumption has surged in the past year.

Pour-over, cold brew, or Aeropress? No matter how you get your fancy coffee these days, you’re far from alone in grabbing an elaborate cuppa joe.

In fact, according to a recent report from the National Coffee Association (NCA), coffee consumption is increasing, with the trend being driven by gourmet and espresso-brewed drinks.

The 2017 edition of National Coffee Drinking Trends report, according to a summary by Daily Coffee News, shows that 62 percent of coffee drinkers reached for a coffee within the past day, compared with 57 percent in the prior year. It’s the industry’s first overall improvement since 2013, after a few years in which it largely started to move away from traditional drip-brewed coffee drinks.

But while the overall coffee market declined during that period, there were signs that suggested the market was simply recalibrating in favor of fancier drinks. Last year, for example, when total coffee consumption dropped by 2 percent, according to the 2016 National Coffee Drinking Trends report, it came during a period when espresso drinks were surging in popularity overall, and gourmet drinks were gaining major popularity among millennials.

The result: This year, the numbers look even stronger in comparison to prior years, with a record 59 percent of past-day coffee consumed considered gourmet (it was 46 percent in 2012), and 24 percent of past-day coffee in espresso form (18 percent in 2016).

Bill Murray, NCA’s president and CEO, noted in comments reported by Daily Coffee News the positive news around the demographic shift and upmarket trends.

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

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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