NCA Reports Young Americans Are Headed Back to Coffee Shops in Record Numbers

October 4, 2021Kelly Getzelman
NCA National Coffee Association, National Coffee Data Trends report

Coffee enthusiasts around the country like this service member are ready to once again get out and enjoy that coffee shop experience. Photo courtesy of Black Rifle Coffee Company.

Since 1950, the National Coffee Association has commissioned an annual survey of coffee consumption in the United States. The NCA study provides a long-term statistical series on consumer drinking habits related to coffee and other beverages.

This year, the NCA has teamed up with the Specialty Coffee Association to deliver additional insight and value to members of the coffee industry.

The NCA released its latest National Coffee Data Trends report this week. It shows that since January 2021, Americans have increased their coffee consumption in on-the-job work environments by 55%. At coffee shops and other eating establishments, coffee drinking is also up by 20% since January 2021, driving an overall 16% increase in out-of-home coffee consumption as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have loosened around the country.

coffee consumption at record highs
Coffee consumption among young adults is at record highs. About 46% of Americans ages 18 to 24 — and 65% of Americans ages 25 to 39 — drink coffee on any given day. Photo courtesy of Black Rifle Coffee Company.

“It’s no surprise that home remains the most popular place to drink coffee, and that the COVID-19 pandemic drove Americans to drink more coffee at home than ever,” said NCA president and CEO William “Bill” Murray. “As COVID restrictions ease, coffee drinkers are returning to pre-pandemic routines but also keeping their favorite new coffee options like drive-through and app-based ordering. Wherever Americans go, they keep America’s favorite beverage with them.”

Also, through the NCA’s collaboration with the Specialty Coffee Association, the trend report reveals insights into consumer patterns within the specialty coffee segment. Young coffee drinkers continue to drive growth in the segment; nearly half of the 25- to 39-year-olds surveyed revealed that they drank at least one cup of specialty coffee in the past day.

Other key findings by the National Coffee Association include:

  • Coffee consumption among 25- to 39-year-olds is at a record high.

  • The survey’s first summer polling found cold brew in the top three coffee preparation methods for the first time.

  • Consumption of cold coffee increased by 50% since January 2021. That surpassed even the expected seasonal jump, continuing to show the rise in popularity of cold brew, which was virtually unknown when first surveyed in 2014.

  • Consumption of espresso-based beverages increased by 9%, returning to January 2020 levels.

According to the NCA, the study also discovered that 60% of Americans reported consuming at least one cup of coffee each day, more than any other type of beverage, including water.

Read Next: Honduras Coffee Tourism Offers Enthusiasts Unique Bean-to-Cup Adventures

Kelly Getzelman
Kelly Getzelman

Kelly Getzelman is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die Magazine. A retired Navy SEAL chief petty officer, Getzelman has nearly two decades of special operations experience and is always ready to ship out on his next epic coffee adventure.

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