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A Look at Coffee Consumption in the US

This past Saturday was National Coffee Day. In recognition of this oh-so-important day, let’s take a look at coffee in the US.   coffee trends  

Just the Facts

We really do love our coffee here in the US. But surprisingly, the United States comes in at 26th place in the world in coffee consumption per capita (Finland is number one). That seems low, especially when you consider we are in 2nd place for the number of Starbucks per capita!   So, which country is the highest consumer of coffee? The Netherlands.   Even with our lower position in consumption, we still drink 1.96 cups per person, per day. Our younger generations are driving this number with 50% of people in the 18-24 demographic, that’s the Z generation, drinking coffee.   At-home coffee consumption is big business in the US as well with retail sales at 5.18 billion dollars. Of that, almost 46% of the coffee is pre-ground. And the largest commercial grocery coffee vendor is Folgers (for decaf coffee, too) with Keurig Green Mountain holding first place for single-serve coffee.   How many people drink coffee at home? A whopping 87% with 73% of those people buying their coffee at the local grocery store. There isn’t much brand loyalty with only 39% of buyers choosing their coffee based on the brand. When we drink coffee out, consumers in the US take that coffee to go 45% of the time, behind first place Japan at 48%.   Of at-home coffee drinkers, 63% use a drip coffee machine and 41% say they own a single-cup machine.   Compared to soft drink consumption, which has fallen 15% over the past year, coffee consumption has grown 7% over the past couple of years.   The value of coffee imported to the United States from Colombia alone is $1.25 billion. The amount of coffee produced worldwide is 158.93 million 60 kilogram (132 pound) bags . What region is the largest producer of coffee? That would be South America.  

Trends in Coffee

It’s no secret that the flavor profile in the United States runs to sweet and this isn’t changing with the newest crop of coffee drinkers. The teenage demographic, those kids aged 13 to 18, is the fastest growing coffee drinkers. It’s unsurprising that these kids prefer their coffee sweetened and with milk or cream.   In addition to sweeter flavors, coffee drinkers are looking for more unique coffee beans as well. With global travel at an all time high, which brings with it the desire to try new things, high-quality, gourmet coffee is finding it’s time in the spotlight. How can you find these coffees? Keywords like “freshly roasted,” “small-batch,” “organic,” “direct trade,” or even certain regions will help you to find your next exceptional brew.   Even coffee prep is a point of distinction for many coffee consumers. We all know the usual coffee requests like black, with sugar or cream or both. We also know hot or iced. Many of us are well aware of cold brew at this point, but how about nitro coffee? Yes, really! This craft brew is typically very strong with the signature foam of bubbles. This carbonated version of coffee is extremely creamy.   If nitro isn’t your thing but you still want a little carbonation, coffee made with tonic or sparkling water is getting some attention as well. The boom in bubbly water has made this category a fast grower and it was only a matter of time before it got to the coffee world.   Coffee is also showing up more and more often in the bar scene, and not just as a nightcap, an alternative beverage, or a way to sober up. Mixologists use different coffees to create delicious tipsy drinks to keep you going all night.  

Weird Tidbits

Let’s end with a little levity. Here are some funny little knowledge bits you can amaze your friends and family with.   Decaffeinated coffee helps the soda industry. All that caffeine is sold to soda and pharmaceutical companies.   There is a Starbucks at CIA headquarters.   Beethoven (yep, the composer) insisted his coffee be made with exactly 60 beans.   The average American spends over $1,000 per year on coffee.   Instant coffee was created in 1771 in England but it wasn’t produced for retail until 1910 in the US.   52% of Americans would rather go without a shower than give up their coffee.   What is your favorite coffee trend or factoid? Share with us in the comments!
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