Business World

Is There Any Hope Out There?

According to a recent Mintel consumer intelligence Coffee Report, no adults are less likely than older Americans to regularly drink coffee at home. Only 31% of people age 25 to 34 are regular at-home drinkers com­pared with 59% of people age 55 to 64. They ominously predict the market for coffee at home will continue to decline unless coffee companies can con­vince more young adults to trade their sodas and sports drinks for coffee.

Despite these statistics, coffee consumption is expected to increase by 7% by 2005. This is due to the fact that the number of coffee drinkers age 55­64 will grow the most, as the baby boom generation continues. to move in­to that age group. The number of coffee drinkers age 25-44 will decline, however, as smaller Generation X occupies much of those groups.

Mintel's consumer research shows that coffee drinking does increase with age, and that this is the case for both in home and out of home drink­ing. There is a sharp jump in the percent of regular coffee drinkers between the 18-24 age group and the 25-34 age group. This suggests that young adults' drinking habits do change. Availability of coffee at the workplace plays a strong role in this as I remember. After age 35, however, the pro­portion of people who convert from non-coffee drinkers to regular coffee drinkers is considerably lower. The coffee industry will have to focus on capturing more young people as they enter adulthood.

The results of Mintel's research show that, while most Americans drink coffee, the U.S. is not a nation of java junkies. Only one out of five adults say they drink four or more cups of coffee a day during the week. Most commonly, coffee drinkers consume only one or two cups per day. Two fifths of adults drink no coffee at all during the week and nearly half avoid it on the weekend.

While one or two cups of coffee doesn't seem like a lot, it is important to note that portion size has changed over the years. The traditional petite coffee cup has, for most people, given way to the larger mug. The average cup of coffee is now 9 ounces.

Established in 1972, Mintel incorporates Mintel consumer intelligence, global new products database (gnpd), and Mintel consultancy. Mintel is an independent company which operates offices in Chicago, London and Syd­ney. For more information on Mintel, visit their website at www.mintel.com.

Jane McCabe
Editor & Co-Publisher

Tea & Coffee - April/May 2001

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