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Report: 45% of US Adults Said They Drank Specialty Coffee Yesterday

drip coffee maker

The NCA/SCA 2024 specialty coffee market report found that the drip maker was the most popular method among specialty coffee drinkers at home, followed by single-cup machines.

Consumption of specialty coffee in the United States is on the rise, driven by younger consumers, according to the latest report from the National Coffee Association and the Specialty Coffee Association.

The jointly issued market report from the trade groups draws data from a January 2024 survey of nearly 1,800 U.S. adults who reported drinking something other than tap water within the past day. A companion to the NCA’s twice-a-year National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) report, the NCA/SCA report takes specific aim at the specialty coffee market.

That said, it doesn’t quite nail down a definition of “specialty coffee,” other than to say that it is derived from “premium whole bean or ground varieties” and that it is not “traditional coffee.”

Whatever specialty coffee is, more people appear to be drinking it. According to the January survey, 45% of people said they drank some form of specialty coffee within the past day, the highest number since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and 4% higher than last year.

barista espresso

Just over one-quarter of people who said they drank specialty coffee yesterday said they got a coffee outside of the home.

The report found that specialty coffee consumption was strongest among people in the 25-39 age group, with 66% saying they drank specialty coffee within the past week. That compares to 56% for the 18-24 group, 57% for 40-59, and 46% for 60+.

Past-week specialty coffee consumption for all of those groups was higher than in 2023, with the biggest gains coming among the youngest and oldest consumers (5% each).

The full report includes a wealth of potentially useful information for coffee marketers and product developers. It’s also got fun stuff like this:

Attitudinally, three-quarters of past-week specialty coffee drinkers agree that drinking cold brew coffee is ‘cool or trendy’. Broadly, this implies that the consumption of specialty coffee may not only be driven by taste, but also by cultural and social factors.

The full report is available for free with registration. The NCA is hosting a webinar on the report on Wednesday, June 26.

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