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U.S. News

Americans drinking better but less coffee: poll

AVENTURA, Florida (Reuters) - More Americans are drinking gourmet coffee than ever before but fewer people overall are having any kind of coffee every day, the National Coffee Association of USA (NCA) said on Saturday.

Coffee pours into cups from a machine at a coffee stand in central Sydney September 13, 2007. More Americans are drinking gourmet coffee than ever before but fewer people overall are having any kind of coffee every day, the National Coffee Association of USA (NCA) said on Saturday. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas

More than 6,000 adults in the United States were questioned in a telephone and Internet poll in January and February for the 2008 National Coffee Drinking Trends survey to be published in May. Preliminary data was released at the NCA’s annual convention in Florida.

According to the survey, 17 percent of adults drank gourmet coffee daily -- up from 14 percent in 2007. Gourmet coffee includes espresso-based drinks.

But overall daily coffee consumption eased to 55 percent of adults from 57 percent a year ago. In 2004, the figure was 49 percent.

Daily consumption by 18-to-24-year-olds fell to 26 percent from a high of 37 percent in 2007, the NCA said.

“As we’ve seen in prior periods of economic softness, this age group is particularly hard hit, resulting in higher than average levels of unemployment,” said Mark DiDomenico, director of Foodservice Insights with Sara Lee.

“With their lower than average incomes, higher gas prices will also cause these consumers to forego discretionary spending on certain items, including the daily stop for coffee.”

The NCA did not release numbers on the amount of coffee consumed in the United States.

This year marked the first time the NCA conducted an online survey parallel to the telephone survey. The association said it plans to conduct the survey completely online in 2009.

The NCA could not immediately provide the margin of error of the survey, which has been conducted since 1950.

Editing by John O’Callaghan

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