The National Coffee Association (NCA) keeps up with consumer trends in the U.S. coffee market, and its 2010 report says coffee drinking is still going strong, regardless of how the economy has been. In short, coffee lovers aren’t about to give up their morning brew.
In the NCA’s 2010 National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT)—a market-research survey—84 percent of consumers polled say that their coffee consumption has not changed in the past six months due to the economic environment. The survey also indicated that 56 percent of adults aged 18 and older had consumed coffee at some point in the previous day, while 68 percent had consumed coffee in the past week.
“For consumers, coffee is a given, a daily enjoyment,” said Robert F. Nelson, President and CEO of the National Coffee Association. “Despite the recession and the need for consumers to alter their spending habits, their daily coffee has proven to be a non-negotiable, as demonstrated by unchanging coffee consumption over recent years.” Another interesting trend was that more consumers were brewing their coffee at home—but there was an increase in demand for higher quality coffee. Forty percent of the coffee now consumed is gourmet, since consumers favor coffee brewed from premium whole bean or ground varieties.
A previous report notes that java lovers believe coffee improves their mental focus, their productivity, and even their health. They could be on to something, too. Dr. Esther Lopez-Garcia, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Autonoma University in Madrid, Spain, and her team of researchers found that women who drank two or three cups of caffeinated coffee daily had a 25 percent lower risk of death from heart disease and an 18 percent lower death risk than those who did not drink coffee.
Additionally, Lopez-Garcia indicates that coffee drinking is linked to a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes and some cancers, while preventing development of cardiovascular disease. Lopez-Garcia is quick to note, however, that these findings may be true only for already-healthy people and that anyone with a health condition should seek the advice of their health professional about any risks—as caffeine can give a short-term elevation in blood pressure.
Frank Hu, MD, MPH, Ph. D., nutrition and epidemiology professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, says, “There is certainly much more good news than bad news, in terms of coffee and health.” In fact, Hu called the data on coffee and type 2 diabetes “pretty solid” based on more than 15 published studies. “The vast majority of those studies have shown a benefit of coffee on the prevention of diabetes,” says Hu. He points to the “whole package” of coffee and its positive health effects—including coffee’s antioxidants and minerals like magnesium and chromium.
Coffee may also lower several risk factors for heart attack and stroke, say additional studies—echoing Lopez-Garcia’s findings. First, since coffee has a potential positive effect on type 2 diabetes risk, that may also lower one’s risk for heart disease and stroke—since having type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of developing both of those. Additionally, coffee has been linked to lower risk for heart rhythm disturbances (a heart attack and stroke risk factor) in men and women, and lower risk for strokes in women.
The Mayo Clinic weighs in on coffee, too. It states that “newer studies have also shown that coffee may have [additional] benefits, such as supporting brain and liver health.”
Coffee lovers everywhere are rejoicing…
It’s coffee time.