Coffee stand as one of the most popular drinks in the entire world today, alongside tea, beer, wine, and water, and the industry around the world for producing coffee and its accessories and ingredients is huge. In many parts of the world, ranging from the Middle East to Europe to North America, sugar packets, coffee creamer, cups with lids, paper cups, and plain white paper cups, among other items, are commonplace for all these coffee drinkers. Sugar packets and cream are often used by coffee drinkers who don’t want their coffee plain, or “black,” and sugar can be added one packet at a time, or at an upscale restaurant or diner, sugar can be spooned into coffee or sugar as desired. With the size of the coffee industry being what it is, a number of studies have been done to find out who is drinking coffee and how often, and what kinds of accessories they are buying for their “cup of Joe.” What is there to know about coffee and its drinkers today?
The Size of the Industry
As mentioned above, the global coffee market is a big one, and this includes not only coffee ground and beans, but also disposable drinking vessels such as paper cups, plastic lids, wood stir spoons, and sugar and cream packets for flavor. All of this adds up to some impressive numbers around the world. The United States is probably the single biggest market for this drink, and it often imports the most coffee per year on the global market. Back in 2014, for a fairly recent example, the United States imported some 27.5 million bags of coffee, and this represented one fourth of the global un-roasted coffee product market. This also makes the United States the single largest market of coffee. And in the United States, the retail value of this industry is staggering: $48 billion total, and while large chains are a major factor here, many smaller, independent coffee shops add up to a generous share of this market value. In fact, small coffee shops together constitute 55% of the market share.
Who is drinking all this coffee? Numbers are kept to not only track the size of the industry overall, but also who drinks coffee and how much. About 50% of the American population, close to 150 million people, drink coffee products, ranging from espresso to cappuccino, latte, or iced/cold coffees of all different flavors. Recent statistics also show that Americans consume, on average, 1.64 cups of coffee per day, and at least 30% of the American population drinks coffee at least occasionally, if not every single day. Most often, this is a breakfast drink, since it is a stimulant and many working Americans want to take advantage of that. In fact, 65% of all coffee, nearly two thirds of it, is consumed during breakfast hours, with only 30% of it consumed between meals and 5% with lunch or other meals during the day. In fact, drinking coffee during or after dinner can be risky, since a stimulant like coffee may make sleep difficult unless it is decaf.
How to Drink
Coffee can often be consumed on the go, and this is where paper cups and plastic lids can be very helpful. Many morning workers will get their coffee from a shop and take it with them on the way to work, and this is not a good scenario for coffee mugs or other permanent containers. Instead, these commuters will appreciate the convenience of paper cups and their spill-proof lids, and these cups often have cardboard sleeves to protect the hand from the hot drink. When the drinker is finished with the coffee cup, they can simply throw it away.
Coffee can be shared at the office, too, and many offices today have a break room which includes a coffee machine. In this case, employees can share expenses of coffee grounds or bags and items like paper cups or sugar and cream packets, and they can rotate who buys what. Workers are also encouraged to clean up messes or refill the pot as needed, to make sure that the coffee stations is always appealing and ready for use.