NCA Update: 2020 US Dietary Guidelines Scientific Review

Setting the stage for the next evolution in dietary guidance to Americans for 2020-2025

Editor’s note: The connection between lifestyle and health is increasingly being recognized by the medical and scientific communities. We know that diet, exercise habits, and smoking and alcohol consumption impact our health. And as the science continues to advance, it seems there are new discoveries weekly.

To help Americans make healthy food and beverage choices, the U.S. Government issues Dietary Guidelines, which in the past have been communicated by USDA guides such as the Food Guide Pyramid and MyPlate.

When the USDA last undertook this exercise, the NCA formally recommended that the healthy aspects of coffee be recognized – and they were.  The 2015-2020 Guidelines acknowledge that coffee can be part of a healthy diet.

And the process to update these guidelines is now well underway.


By Dr. Mark Corey, Director of Scientific & Government Affairs, National Coffee Association

Over the past two days, I attended the meeting of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) in Washington, DC, focused on creating the protocol and guidelines shaping US nutrition and guidance to Americans for the next 5 years.

Panels of experts are examining every aspect of the American diet, inside and out, and have outlined their process for evaluating the science-based evidence. Subcommittees are focused on a range of topics such as dietary patterns and looking across different age groups from birth to older adults.

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Support coffee farmers – pour another cup!

Harvesting coffee cherries in Nicaragua. Source

The science behind increasing global demand

By Bill (William) Murray, President & CEO, National Coffee Association

I’ve been thinking about the good news, challenges, and opportunities that face all of us in the coffee community – just as I travel to Brazil for the upcoming World Coffee Producers Forum

The good news should be well known to all:  last month California finally gave coffee the all clear, joining scientists worldwide in concluding that coffee does not cause cancer and may in fact protect against cancer and other diseases.

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A Partnership to Protect the Future of Coffee

The NCA is working with the Sustainable Coffee Challenge to help make coffee the world’s first agricultural product

By William (Bill) Murray, President & CEO, National Coffee Association


Here at the National Coffee Association (NCA), we like to say that “we serve coffee.”

With the rising threat of climate change, serving coffee today also means serving the planet. We know coffee’s future depends on coffee being the world’s first fully sustainable crop.

To help make this vision a reality, I am immensely proud that the NCA has joined the Sustainable Coffee Challenge.

(Read the official news release.)

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Consumer Insights: Coffee Claims [Video]

From sourcing to roasting, coffee companies can have a lot to say about their product. These messages can majorly influence consumer perception and behavior – but not necessarily in the ways you’d expect.

A new NCA Consumer Insights report (based on NCDT data) takes a closer look at coffee claims – which include general statements, perceptions, or things that people find motivating about coffee.

For example, said Cheryl Hung, VP of Research at Dig Insights, during a recent webinar: “What kind of equity does coffee have with consumers? Are there positive and negative associations with coffee among different demographics? Who perceives coffee in a negative light? And what can we say to persuade them from a marketing perspective, or via point of sale?”

Get more highlights in the video below – and to learn more, check out the webinar (on-demand playback free for members) or NCA market research:

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What a Cup of Coffee Really Costs

specialty coffee shop
Gourmet coffee consumption reached over 50 percent for the first time in 2019, according to the NCA 2019 Coffee Data Trends Report

The price of a pound of coffee beans may be dropping fast, but that doesn’t mean consumers will get a break on the cost of their morning brew.

Edited excerpt – read the full post at MarketWatch

By Jeanette Settembre


A pound of wholesale arabica coffee beans has been selling for under $1 since March, the lowest price point in more than a decade. One pound of ground coffee will make about 48 cups.

But experts say consumers will still be paying the same price for a cup of coffee or latte in stores and cafes. While wholesale coffee prices have been dropping, coffee prices for consumers have actually been going up.

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Practical Solutions for Sustainable Coffee Supply Chains

The 4C Global Sustainability Conference will take place in Berlin on June 6, 2019

via 4C

How can you implement sustainable supply chains in times of low coffee prices? What is the impact of sustainability certification? How can you use innovative technologies and integrate smallholders?

The 4C Global Sustainability Conference in Berlin will address these questions – and more.

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Pot Head: The Coffee Cannabis Connection

Coffee is a complex substance and — as a new study finds — its metabolic interactions are equally complex.

Coffee influences the same regions of the brain as cannabis, according to recent research.

By Tim Newman| Fact checked by Jasmin Collier

Read the full article at Medical News Today

Visit the NCA Guide to Cannabis & CBD for Coffee Companies


Although studies looking at coffee’s health benefits — or lack thereof — appear to be published on an almost daily basis, its true impact on health is still poorly understood.

Some studies have found health benefits, some have concluded that it might reduce mortality risk, and others drew no solid conclusions.

This confusion is due to several factors, and one is the difficulty in separating cause and effect in large, population-based studies. For example, someone who drinks a lot of coffee might also sleep less, smoke more tobacco, drink less water, or work unsociable hours. These factors muddy the statistical waters.

Also, coffee is an incredibly complex beast; it contains more than 1,000 aroma compounds, levels of which vary depending on the type of coffee bean and how it is brewed.

Researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, took a detailed look at the impact of coffee consumption on our internal chemistry. Their findings were published this week in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

The scientists found that with increased coffee consumption, blood metabolites involved in the endocannabinoid system dropped off. This is the system that gives cannabis its recreational and medical effects.

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Infographic: The Growth of Gourmet Coffee Among Ethnic Consumers

hanging consumer behaviors and perceptions are creating new opportunities for the coffee industry – especially in cold brew and RTD.

While US daily coffee consumption remained fairly stable in 2019 (64%), we’re seeing a dynamic shift in what types of beverages we’re drinking. 

The NCA 2019 National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) showed that Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans are driving growth in key segments of the coffee market – including gourmet, ready-to-drink, and cold brew.

Understanding the types of beverages that are growing in popularity among these ethnic groups (and the perceptions behind the behavior) may offer new opportunities for the coffee industry to connect and reach more diverse consumers. 

Get more insights into this key market trend in the infographic below:

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How Can the NCA Serve Your Coffee Business?

By Theresa (Terri) Bartlett, NCA Director of Membership

We’re introducing an easier way to pay for small businesses, coffee shops, and independent roasters — and brewing some big-picture benefits.


If you are a small coffee shop operator (ten units or less) or a micro-roastery (5,000 bags a year or fewer), then you are probably already burning the candle at both ends. 

You’re primarily focused on the “basics” – day-to-day challenges like keeping the doors open and the lights burning – even as you are looking down the road at growth opportunities.

The bottom line? Above all, resources are tight.

This is why we’re rolling out an easier way to access National Coffee Association resources – to better serve you. (We’re also offering a special prorated offer on 2019 dues, so you can pick the plan that’s right for you.)

Because while you’re minding the store, we’re minding the big picture:

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