Recent Study States That Coffee Is More Popular Than Water In The United States, What About Specialty Coffee?

Vietnamese Coffee Exporter
coffee is more popular than water in the United States

coffee is more popular than water in the United States : It’s an understatement to say that America loves drinking coffee. For as long as the country has existed, Americans have consumed coffee and the amount has only increased.

On September 19, the National Coffee Association (NCA) released its Fall 2023 National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) Report . It analyzes the main trends in coffee consumption in the United States over the last seven decades. The report concludes that coffee remains Americans’ favorite beverage, with 63% of respondents drinking coffee every day. 

According to these results, coffee is more popular than bottled water, tea, and tap water in the United States. This also follows the Spring 2023 NCDT report, which stated that more Americans had drunk coffee in the previous day than any other beverage.

Given the popularity of large coffee chains such as Starbucks, Dunkin’ and Peet’s in the country, it can be assumed that these brands are the ones driving coffee consumption the most. Now, what happens with the specialty coffee market?

Read on to learn more about the NCA’s latest NCDT report, as well as the influence of specialty coffees on American consumers.

Details of the new NCDT report coffee is more popular than water in the United States

Since the early 20th century, coffee has been an integral part of American food and beverage culture. It was during the Great Depression that coffee became much more accessible to the masses because food banks handed out free coffee and donuts .

In the 1970s, the second wave of coffee began to emerge in the United States. Large chains such as Starbucks and Peet’s became pioneers in the sector. They even helped define the standards of the specialty coffee market decades later.

Given the country’s long history of coffee consumption, it is no surprise that coffee is one of the most popular beverages, as revealed by the NCA’s Autumn 2023 NCDT report.

According to the association’s latest report, nearly two-thirds of Americans drank coffee the day before. According to the data, the Midwest is the most consumed region of the country, with 65% of people choosing coffee daily over other beverages such as:

  • Bottled water (61%)
  • Tea (45%)
  • Tap water (45%)
  • Soft drinks (41%)
  • Juice (22%)

Unsurprisingly, the study revealed that the vast majority of American consumers (81%) drink coffee with breakfast and 19% drink coffee drinks in the afternoon.Coffee is more popular than water in the United States

Additionally, the report found that Americans ages 25 to 39 are more likely than any other age group in the country to drink coffee, as well as choose an espresso -based drink .

According to NCA data, the most popular espresso -based drinks in the United States are:

  • Coffee with milk (18%)
  • Espresso (16%), which is especially impressive considering that espresso culture is much more prominent in Europe .
  • Cappuccino (15%)
  • Mocha (11%)

Is second-wave coffee culture predominantly driving consumption in the United States?

As part of its latest NCDT report, the NCA found that 53% of consumers drank specialty coffees in the past week, a figure that has been steadily increasing in recent years. For example, in the Spring 2022 NCDT report, specialty coffee consumption in the United States was the highest on record.

Additionally, according to some market research groups, the North American specialty coffee market is expected to grow 20% year-over-year through 2030 . This would make it one of the fastest growing markets in the world.Coffee is more popular than water in the United States

Now, it’s also hard to ignore the influence that second-wave coffee culture has on American consumers. With nearly 16,000 Starbucks locations in the country alone , the big chains are immensely popular with consumers.

Self-service and app-based pickup services continue to play a key role in this regard. The spring 2023 NCDT report found that use of these services remained higher than pre-pandemic levels. For example, about 59% of day-old coffee drinkers who purchased drinks at a coffee shop, convenience store, or gas station used a drive-thru. Compared to January 2020, this represents an increase of 11%.

Similarly, 29% of people who drank coffee the previous day used an app to order their drinks, an increase of 5% compared to January 2020.

The Fall 2023 NCDT report also revealed that 30% of Americans drank a flavored coffee in the previous week, including flavors like vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, and pumpkin spice .Coffee is more popular than water in the United States

While it’s true that specialty coffee shops can offer pick-up (or even self-serve) services and serve flavored drinks, most of the time we associate them more with second-wave coffee culture.

Could it come to dominate specialty coffee in the United States?

There is no doubt that the United States has a thriving specialty coffee scene, especially in big cities. At the same time, it is clear that second-wave coffee continues to largely determine consumer behavior.

Still, younger generations are helping to change trends. According to the latest NCA report, 65% of Americans aged 25-39 drank specialty coffees in the past week and 51% of 18-24 year olds did the same.

The growing popularity of cold and iced coffee drinks also provides a gateway to consuming more specialty coffees. In this year’s autumn NCDT report, the NCA states that iced coffee consumption has increased 64% since January 2023. Coffee is more popular than water in the United States

So, with the explosive growth of the ready-to-drink specialty coffee market in recent years, this could encourage more Americans to start consuming more specialty coffees in a more accessible way.

Saying that coffee is more popular than water in the United States is a bold statement; However, given that the NCA has been tracking Americans’ consumer behavior since 1950 and is by far the longest series of statistical reports available in the industry, we should be inclined to trust the data.

In any case, it’s important to ask what exactly is driving coffee consumption in the United States. As second-wave coffee shops continue to play an important role in American coffee culture, it will be interesting to see how the specialty continues to influence consumer behavior.