March 11, 2006

Java running neck-and-neck with soft drinks in US–report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - More Americans are drinking a cup of
coffee every day, putting Java virtually neck-and-neck with
such soft drinks as cola, according to an industry report
released on Saturday.

Preliminary data from the National Coffee Association of
USA's "2006 National Coffee Drinking Trends" showed the percent
of U.S. consumers who drink coffee each day rose to 56 percent
in 2006 from 53 percent in 2005 and 49 percent in 2004.

"With increases in coffee consumption from 53 percent to 56
percent, accompanied by a decline in soft-drink consumption
over the last year to 57 percent, daily coffee drinkers are now
statistically equal to daily soft-drink consumers," NCA said in
a statement.

The report, based on a nationwide random-telephone survey,
found that most of the daily consumption of coffee was driven
by adults 25 to 39 years of age. Daily coffee intake from that
group rose to 47 percent in 2006 from 41 percent a year ago.

Meanwhile, the survey showed 82 percent of all American
adults drink coffee either daily or weekly. That's up from 80
percent in 2005.

"Americans are making coffee a bigger part of their lives,
expanding attitudes and behaviors that are driving new levels
of consumption," Robert Nelson, president and chief executive
of NCA, said in the statement.

The United States, the world's top coffee importing nation,
has seen the highest intake of brew in the Northeast, with
daily consumption in that region rising to 61 percent in 2006
from 58 percent in 2004.