Survey Shows Tea Topping Soda Among Adults

NCA Coffee Drinking Trends_Illustration

Adult Tea Drinkers Exceed Soda Drinkers in National Survey

NEW ORLEANS, LA– The National Coffee Association’s survey of drinking trends for the first time in decades revealed the number of past-day tea drinkers is greater than adults choosing soda.

What did you drink yesterday? is one of the National Coffee Drinking Trends questions: Soda fell to 41% behind coffee, tap water (54%) and tea (44%). Coffee topped the list with 61% of those queried. The survey engaged a nationally representative sample of about 3,000 people 18 and older. It is conducted in January and February each year.

Coffee has often been the first choice in surveys dating to 1950. Water is subdivided into tap water 54% and bottled water (46%) for a total 100%. Past-day incidence of tea drinking was next ahead of soda, milk, juice and alcohol. The big change was in carbonated soda which fell 9 points compared to last year’s survey. Tap water is up 7 percentage points in part due to economic conditions and as the most popular soda alternate.

Individuals 40-49 years of age are the most frequent coffee drinkers at four cups per day. The average number of previous day cups was 3.4 for past day drinkers.

Sports, energy drinks and energy shots were consumed by 14% of respondents (totals do not sum to 100 as many respondents reported drinking several different beverages the previous day). The percent of people drinking coffee is on the rise as well as tea and hot drinks in general. Past day drinkers are predominately hot coffee drinkers (93%) with 7% drinking iced or frozen coffee. In the 2014 survey 73% of Americans reported drinking coffee in the past week and 79% in the past year.

Also significant is the fact that 34% of coffee drinkers drank a gourmet/specialty coffee the previous day. Daily non-gourmet coffee drinking is down to 35% from last year’s 39%. Most coffee is prepared at home (85%) but 35% of previous day coffee drinkers report they purchased coffee away from home. The total exceeds 100 as many respondents drink coffee prepared at home as well as the office, restaurants and coffee shops.

Single-serve continues its meteoric rise, 29% of previous-day coffee drinkers reported their coffee was prepared with a single-cup brewer. The study showed 15% of American households now own a single-serve brewer with 25% of those who do not have a brewer indicating they will purchase one within six months. Only 53% of those who brewed coffee at home used a drip brewer. The remaining coffee at home is prepared on an espresso machine (12%) or from instant, 12%.

To learn more: NCA MarketResearchSeries,

Full tabular data are also available.

By Dan Bolton

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