Coffee Trends: Here’s What You Should Know

Vanessa Feiwell • February 07, 2021 • 3 min read

Coffee Trends: Here’s What You Should Know

Are You Part Of These Coffee Trends? 

Every year, the National Coffee Association compiles a report that looks at trends in the coffee industry. The most recent report, 2020 National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT), uncovered some interesting findings about who, what, where and how coffee is being consumed. Here’s a few key takeaways!

Most People Drink Coffee Daily

You’re not alone in your coffee habit. Most Americans, 62%, drink coffee daily. If we look at those that drink once or more per week, that number jumps to 70%. All trends in the report show continued growth in coffee consumption year after year. Long story short, coffee is here to stay!

It’s About More Than Just Coffee

It’s no surprise that as the world becomes more woke, the expectations of companies to do better are translating into the world of coffee. Most coffee drinkers, 53%, want to buy coffee that is good for the environment, farmers, and communities. Frankly, it’s nice to see consumers recognize the true impact of coffee and using their wallets to show companies what matters most.

The Coffee Experience is Changing

Times are a-changing with convenience and technology playing a bigger role in our daily lives than ever before. With so many on-the-go, nearly half of daily coffee drinkers are opting for the convenience of a drive-through to purchase their coffee. Smartphones are also changing the way we get our coffee, with a quarter of people ordering from apps in the past week. I fully expect we will continue to see mobile ordering and convenient formats continue to grow in popularity!

Drinks Are Becoming More Sophisticated

People are no longer treating coffee as a commodity and are pursuing unique coffee experiences around every corner. This is led by tremendous double-digit growth in specialty coffee consumption across the past few years. With increased sophisticated and evolving craft coffee culture, we see the demand for espresso-based drinks, led by lattes and cappuccinos, growing too. Almost half of coffee is enjoyed with milk or sugar, and only a small minority are enjoying it, like me, black. When it comes to milk, cow milk is no longer the expectation with more consumers drinking alternative milks than ever before.

Filter Coffee Makers Are Being Left Behind

In the last several years, there has been a double-digit decrease in those brewing coffee on traditional filter machines. We see these pot coffee makers being replaced by more convenient and efficient single-cup brewers, like the revolutionary Bruvi®, which have increased 50%+ in the past five years.

Older Coffee Drinkers Are More Traditional

Coffee consumption increases with age, and these “more experienced” coffee drinkers are far more likely to drink commodity (non-specialty) coffee than their younger friends. Their coffee habits are old school too. They opt for traditional pot coffee versus fancy espresso-based options and drinking at common times like breakfast.

Newer Coffee Drinkers Are More Adventurous

Specialty coffee consumption is led by the younger age groups. As part of their coffee exploration, they are far more likely to drink espresso-based beverages and, at times, outside of the traditional breakfast hour. While older age groups lead coffee consumption, we are seeing a dramatic increase year over year in some of the age brackets under 40. A lot of the innovations and advancements in the coffee industry are being steered by these younger coffee drinkers, so keep an eye on them!


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