Most Americans live within minutes of several specialty coffee shops, while our grocery stores carry a plethora of flavorful options as well. The facts are clear: in the United States, coffee consumption is a cultural staple. In fact, even when the recession floored commodity sales nationwide, coffee consumption remained strong. Coffee drinking, as a cultural, business, pleasure and energy-producing activity, is here to stay.
The National Coffee Association states that on average, 54 per cent of the American adult population drank coffee beverages daily in 2009. This number is statistically equivalent to the 2008 percentage, while the number of cups drank per-person and per-capita are also on par with levels since 2003, when consumption amounts increased. Thirty per cent of the population drinks coffee occasionally.
“Consumers still see coffee as an integral part of their everyday lives,” said Robert Nelson, President and CEO of the National Coffee Association. “Even if economic conditions cause some to alter their coffee choices, they are nonetheless continuing to enjoy coffee at levels very much on par with recent years.”
The Association’s survey also brought light to an increasingly popular trend: at-home coffee brewing due to movements toward greener, cheaper and anti-establishment alternatives. Eighty-three per cent of consumers reported brewing their previous day’s coffee at home. Figures also suggest that consumers in the United States are gravitating towards bringing their at-home brew on their commute more often, while a steady 18 per cent of coffee-drinkers reported getting their coffee fix at work. Fewer Americans are partaking in coffee consumption at restaurants.
Coffee consumption in the United States remains at the 8th highest level in the world; today, the average American drinks 3.1 cups of coffee each day. This contributes to the massive $18 billion U.S. coffee market (the global coffee market is worth upwards of $80 billion dollars), an amount that continues to increase with the upsurge of specialty coffee sales. These sales account for 8 per cent of the market and are jumping at an astounding 20 per cent per year. Coffee statistics show that 50 per cent of Americans enjoy cappuccino, espresso, latte, or iced coffees.
Here are some more interesting facts and figures about coffee consumption in the United States:
• The average coffee cup size is nine ounces.
• The average price for an espresso-based drink is $2.45.
• The average price for a cup of brewed coffee is $1.38.
• 35% of coffee drinkers prefer their coffee black.
• 65% of coffee consumption takes place during breakfast hours.
• Seattle has 10 times more coffee stores per 100,000 residents than the United States has overall.
• The United States imports more than $4 billion dollars of coffee each year.
Chicago-based foodservice research and consultant firm Technomic, Inc. estimates that about 20 to 30 per cent of coffee sales are made up of flavored coffees, another trend that is expected to rise throughout the years as young adults from Generation Y continue to enter the work force. The top flavors, in 2007, were chocolate, vanilla, caramel, hazelnut and cinnamon.
Whether you like your coffee hot or iced, specialty or regular, with or without cream, you’re not alone in rewarding yourself – or just rolling out of bed – with the world’s favorite drink.