Zagat surveyZagat has completed its first survey to delve into the coffee-drinking habits of American consumers; they’ve discovered that even in the worst of the economic crisis, coffee lovers are loathe to sacrifice their beany brew.

Some 83% of coffee drinkers surveyed report that a cup of coffee is an everyday staple in their diet. Well, “cup” might be a low estimate. Actually, that daily coffee habit equates a bit closer to 2.2 cups—the average daily amount consumers enjoy. The caffeinated jumpstart would appear to be the chief reason for many of those cups, as only 5% note they routinely reach for decaf and another 5% noting they opt for a half-caffeinated blend. 

While the vast majority of coffee drinkers take the beverage every single day, 12% of those surveyed can get by on coffee “a few times a week.” Very few report they consume coffee drinks a few times a month or a few times per year, 2% and 1%, respectively.

For the most part, the economic crisis had little effect on the consumption of coffee, though the location of that consumption may have altered. While only 6% noted they consumed less coffee as a result of the economy, 23% did switch to making more coffee at home; 8% ordered less-expensive coffee drinks; 3% ordered smaller coffee drinks; and 3% changed the location where they purchased their coffee while out. Nearly two thirds (some 65%), however, reported no change in their coffee consumption resulting from the economic downturn.

Global Trends

Starbucks green coffeeStarbucks is taking its RTD sparkling green coffee energy beverage, Refreshers, into Canada. The drink, which launched in stores in the U.S. in the summer of 2012, includes such flavors as Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Lemonade and Orange Melon, each with a calorie content of 60 per serving.

Novel tea introductions in the UK should hardly be surprising, but Twinings has added a number of choices for those looking for a new tea option. Its Sensation range of caffeine-free herbal teas will be found in such flavors as Buttermint, Blackcurrant & Rhubarb, Raspberry & Dragon Fruit, Double Mint, Lime & Ginger and Chamomile & Maple.

The company has also added a new range of teas under its Benefit brand: Digest, Awake, Defence, Detox, Purify and Sleep. Digest blends peppermint leaves, dandelion root, cinnamon bark and fennel seeds to sooth the stomach and aid in digestion, while Defence mixes blackcurrants, Echinacea root and ginger to boost the immune system.

In China, Nestle plans to develop a new coffee brand, curiously drawing its name from Pu’er City, a region better known for its tea production. In developing the product, the company will use 100% Pu’er Arabica coffee beans; part of the goal behind the launch is to strengthen the business relationship between the company and China’s largest coffee plantation base in Yunnan Province.

Ito En has brought a range of Teas’ Tea Lattes to American shelves, with the Matcha Latte variety featuring a powdered green tea that is traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies. The latte range is brewed with premium, whole loose-leaf tea leaves and non-fat milk. In addition to the Matcha variety, the line includes a Black Tea Latte brewed with tea leaves from Sri Lanka.