Youth Turning to Coffee

March 23/New Orleans/States News Service -- Coffee consumption among consumers between the ages of 18 and 29 has rebounded to 2008-09 levels, following last year's decline, according to the National Coffee Association's (NCA) 2011 National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) data. The finding mirrors increased confidence expressed by that group about their personal financial situation. The study also found that the coffee category remains strong, narrowing the already slim lead of soft drinks.

"2011 NCDT data show that coffee's relevancy remains strong amid a proliferation of beverage options," said Robert F. Nelson, NCA president and CEO, in a press release. "A rebound in consumption among younger drinkers demonstrates strong category loyalty, which suggests a solid customer base for future growth."

The 2011 study found that 40% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 said they drink coffee daily, up from 31% in 2010 and on par with 2009's 40%. For those between the ages of 25 and 39, 54% said they drink coffee daily, up from 44% in 2010 and ahead of 2009's 53%. These figures aligned with findings that 29% of those between the ages of 18 and 39 felt better about their financial situation than last year, while other age groups did not.

Gourmet coffee continues to be a significant portion of total coffee consumption - indicating that consumers want to maintain coffee quality even as the economy is uncertain. The vast majority of coffee consumers drink coffee at home past day (86%) as compared with 24% who drink coffee out of home past day, consistent with last year's figures. (Note that these figures include those who drink coffee both at home and away.)

Single-cup system penetration is growing at an average of 1% per year, and 35% of those with a pod system acquired it in the past six months. Also, people who buy the pod system are now more likely to use it to replace their current brewer. Perception of the single-cup systems is improving -- moving from 26% who think the systems are excellent or very good in 2007 to 45% who think the systems are excellent or very good in 2011.  

From the March 24, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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