Coffee for the Ages

Coffee for the Ages?

Are you with it? Do you keep up with your peers? If we’re talking coffee, there’s an easy way to find out.

If you’re a “Millennial,” you’d be one of the 78% who say they drink coffee. You may also be among the 47% who say they do so each day.

Your peer group is bigger if you’re part of Generation X. Eighty-five percent say they’re coffee drinkers, 68% of them sipping daily. Among Baby Boomers, 86% say they enjoy coffee, 72% of them each day. If you’re a more mature consumer, then you may be one of the 90% who tip a mug to coffee or even among the 80% who do so daily.

These data come from NCA’s annual National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) consumer survey. This week, NCA is releasing Coffee Across Generations, an NCDT series report that digs deeply into the differences in habits, behaviors and attitudes of consumers of the widely recognized generational age groupings.

By the way, if you’re like most of us, by now you’re wondering where you fit in. Here’s the statistical scoop. Standard demographic descriptions make you a Millennial if you were born between 1979 and 1997, while GenXers date back to between 1965 and 1978, while Baby Boomers came on the scene between 1946 and 1964.

Other Data
If you prefer gourmet coffee beverages, your peer groups differ. While overall coffee consumption skews older, gourmet coffee beverage consumption trends younger. Seventy-four percent of Millennials said they’ve consumed a gourmet coffee beverage within the past year. That compares with 72% of GenXers, 59% of Baby Boomers, and 53% of the more mature.

When it comes to brewing, there are generational distinctions as well. Younger consumers are more apt to jump on the single-cup bandwagon, with a larger number saying they’d be likely to buy one. The more mature groups are more likely to use a drip coffee maker, while younger coffee drinkers say they prefer espresso machines and ready-to-drink coffee.

Specifically, 62% of the more mature group says they use a drip coffee maker, compared with 53% of Millennials. And, even though 90% of matures say they’re aware of single-cup brewers versus 76% of Millennials, about one-quarter of Millennials and GenXers say they’d be likely to buy a single-cup brewer, whereas just 12% of Baby Boomers and 8% of the more mature said the same.

Other data in the report span a wide array of consumption choices, patterns, frequency and attitudes. The detailed tracking data broken out by group includes: consumption time of day, share of cups of gourmet versus non-gourmet coffee, home versus out-of home consumption, place of preparation and consumption, breakouts of coffee types and gourmet sub-types, coffee additive preferences, coffee and health attitudes, workplace coffee satisfaction, packaging format, and, for single-cup brewers, the time owned, types of beverages made, and quality attitudes.

So, when you pick up that next cup of coffee, you’ll have a better idea of where you fit in – that is, when it comes to your coffee drinking habits. Even better, if you’re a marketer, you’ll know who to target and how. That’s where the value of market research moves from personal discovery to professional development and commercial success. Learn more about Coffee Across Generations and other National Coffee Drinking Trends market research reports at