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1990 U.S. Winter Coffee Drinking Survey.

1990 marked the fifth consecutive year of the new trend of stable coffee consumption with virtually no change in per capita consumption of all coffee or in the percentage of the population drinking coffee from 1989. In 1990, 1.73 cups per person per day were consumed and 52.4% of the total population 10 years of age and older drank coffee versus 1.75 cups per person and 52.50/o of the population in 1989.

The trend in the consumption of regular coffee showed signs of continued gradual growth. While per capita consumption of regular coffee remained stable between 1989 and 1990 at 1.42 cups, the percentage of the population drinking regular coffee grew by 2% to 40.9% during the same time period and increased significantly since 1983 when the percentage of those drinking regular coffee was at its most recent low point (37.1%).

The growth of regular coffee was also demonstrated by its growing share of all cups of coffee consumed. Regular coffee accounted for 83% of all coffee consumed in 1990 compared to 77% in 1985.

The historic downward trend in the consumption of soluble coffee, which had begun in 1975, continued rather dramatically in 1990. The number of cups of soluble coffee consumed daily per person decreased by over 10% to 0.29 cups during 1990, and the percentage of the population drinking soluble coffee declined to 14%.

The portion of the population 30 years of age and older continued to be significantly more likely to drink coffee and to drink more of it than those under 30. Consumption patterns for the older segment of the population-particularly those 60 years and older-showed little change in 1990.

A significantly smaller proportion of 20 to 29 year olds drank coffee in 1990 (31.2%) than in the previous year (35.0%). However, the daily per capita consumption for this group has remained relatively stable since 1987. In 1990, 20 to 29 year olds drank 0.96 cups of coffee per day.

Although the percentage of 10 to 19 year olds in the population remained statistically stable between 1989 and 1990, the proportion of this segment drinking coffee has experienced gradual growth from 4.6% in 1986 to a level of 6.6% in 1990. This segment also consumed more coffee in 1990 (0.16 cups per person) than in 1989 and almost twice as much as in 1986.

As in the past several years, males and females were equally as likely to have consumed coffee in 1990, but males consumed more coffee than females (1.86 vs 1.60 cups per person per day).

The percentage of the population drinking decaffeinated coffee, which had been decreasing gradually since 1985, dropped significantly in 1990 to 14.8%. The per capita consumption of decaffeinated coffee decreased in 1990 from 0.40 to 0.36 cups per day.

More than half (52%) of all coffee consumed was drunk at breakfast-the one time of day that showed a growing trend in consumption. About one-third of all coffee was consumed between meals in 1990.

Seventy percent of all coffee was consumed at home, a share which has remained constant since 1985. In fact, places of consumption have been unchanged for the past several years-work has accounted for almost 20% of all coffee consumed while "eating places" have accounted for less than 10%.

In 1990, coffee at 52.4% was the second most popular beverage after soft drinks (64.8%) among the population 10 years of age and older. Milk 46.6%) and juice 44.0%) were close behind coffee in order of popularity. Soft drinks were the only beverages to be consumed by a significantly greater proportion of the population in 1990 than in 1989. Conversely, a significantly smaller percentage drank milk and juice than in the past year.

Although only 5.9% of the population drank soft drinks at breakfast, they were the one class of beverage that showed gains as a breakfast drink in 1990.

The distribution of the use of additives such as sweeteners and creaming agents remained virtually unchanged during the past several years. Fifty-three percent of drinkers added a creaming agent, 41% used a sweetener and 40% took their coffee black.

More than two-thirds of those who prepared regular coffee used an electric drip coffeemaker. The incidence of usage of electric drip coffeemakers grew significantly between 1989 and 1990 continuing a trend that began in 1986.

The perception of coffee as being "expensive" which has developed over the past several years seemed to have receded in 1990. Significantly fewer people indicated that coffee was expensive in 1990 (33.6 % in 1990 vs 37.1% in 1989).

The perceived cost of a cup of coffee at work was significantly higher in 1990 than in 1989. In 1990, over 40% of those drinking coffee at work, said that a cup cost 50 cents or more compared to under one-third in 1989.

At restaurants and other eating places, the perceived cost of a cup of coffee remained virtually unchanged during the past several years. More than three-fourths of those who drank coffee at an eating place indicated that a cup cost 50 cents or more.

The Winter Coffee Drinking Study forms a part of the considerable body of information on trends in consumption of coffee in the U.S., where more coffee is purchased and consumed than in any other country in the world. The Study has been conducted annually for the past 40 years and provides the longest available statistical series on consumer habits and drinking patterns related to coffee and other beverages. The Study has been financed by the Promotion Fund of the International Coffee Organization since 1976.

By way of background, consumption of coffee reached its peak in 1962 when approximately three-fourths of the U.S. population 10 years of age and older drank coffee and those that did consumed more than four cups per day. Since that time, the long-term trend in coffee consumption showed a continuing decrease, until it began to stabilize several years ago.

During the 1980s, the consumption of regular coffee has shown signs of a gradual increase, while consumption of soluble coffee continues a decline that began in the mid-1970s.

With approximately one half of Americans drinking it, coffee continues to be one of the most popular beverages in the U.S.

The complete Survey is available through the National Coffee Association of the U.S., 110 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005.
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Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:May 1, 1991
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