Each year, the National Coffee Association releases one of the coffee industry's biggest consumer surveys, the National Coffee Drinking Trends Survey. The NCDTS is eagerly awaited by businesses in the retail coffee industry -- and widely publicized by the mainstream media in a way that most specialty coffee vendors would envy. The NCA is one of the oldest trade associations in the United States, and it is dedicated to the furtherance of the commercial coffee industry just as the SCAA is dedicated to the furtherance of the specialty coffee industry. Over the past several years, the NCDT has detailed an interesting trajectory between the commercial coffee industry and specialty java -- a trajectory that has the average American coffee drinker indulging in higher quality coffee.
American Coffee Consumption by the NumbersAccording to the 2014 National Coffee Drinking Trends Survey, 61% of Americans indulge in at least one cup of coffee daily. That's down 2% from last year's 63%, but the overall number tells just part of the story. The overall drop masks changes in coffee consumption in a few key specialty coffee areas, including:
- 5% increase in people who drink one or more espresso-based drinks daily, from 13% to 18%
- 3% increase in people who drink "gourmet coffee" daily, from 31% to 34%
- 5% decrease in people who make their daily coffee in an auto drip coffee maker