America’s Youth Embrace Tea

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 Aging Americans remain loyal to their cup of Joe but millennials are twice as likely to drink tea and more than a quarter of those under 30 say that they drink only tea.

A February survey of 1,000 adults by YouGov.com reveals that 42% of those aged 18-29 have an equal preference for tea and coffee.

Coffee is the clear favorite for older Americans with 70% of those over 65 indicating they prefer coffee to tea, while only 21% prefer tea, according to YouGov’s latest research. A total of 83% of those 65 and older drink coffee. Women predominate among “tea only” drinkers (19%) but the gap is closing with 14% of males surveyed reporting they drink only tea.

Only 18% of those under 30 say they only drink coffee while 27% drink tea only.

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Credit: Creative Commons License CC BY-ND 3.0

More than half the females surveyed (54%) drink both coffee and tea compared to 49% males. Twenty-four percent of the males drink coffee only, 19% of women drink only tea and 13% of those surveyed drink neither.

“Among under-30s, however, coffee and tea are equally popular, with 42% of millennials preferring coffee and 42% opting for tea,” according those surveyed, leading YouGov to conclude that a generational shift may be partially to blame for coffee’s flat consumption.

Combining those who only drink coffee and those who drink coffee and tea, only 57% of under-30s drink coffee, compared to 76% of people aged 45 to 64 and 83% of over-65s, according to YouGov.
YouGov_TeaByAge
The National Coffee Association tracks consumption monthly. Nationally the number of cups has climbed about 1.8% to 2.5% annually for the past three decades. In January 2015, for example, Americans consumed 9 billion cups of coffee, up 1.93% compared to the previous January. Long term the trend is downward. Boomers drank only half the volume of their parents, preferring cola and bottled drinks. In 1946 coffee consumption was 46 gallons per adult. In recent years per capita consumption has declined to 23 gallons.

Meanwhile the preference for tea is growing. Consumption of green tea is up 11%, attributed in part to its health benefits and to declining sales of bottled soda. Overall tea sales exceeded $10 billion last year. Today Americans drink 20% more tea than in 2000 consuming on average slightly more than a half pound of tea, equivalent to about 115 cups at 2 grams per cup.

Coffee and tea are clearly intertwined as 51% of those surveyed report drinking both beverages. The Tea Association of the USA reports 80% of American pantries are stocked with tea and at least half of the population drinks tea daily. New technology is encouraging households to experiment with tea. Single-serve brewers are now found in 26% of America’s kitchens offering a convenient way to brew tea. Market researchers estimate 10% of the tea sold in grocery and department stores is in capsules and this is evidence these brewers increase tea consumption at home.

Sources: You Gov Today, National Coffee Association, Statistica, Washington Post

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Learn more about tea in capsules at World Tea Expo, at Dan’s presentation Single Serve: Tea in an Instant from 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., Thursday, May 7.