Every 5 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues a new edition of the Dietary
Guidelines. These are dietary
recommendations for Americans to practice healthy eating habits.
Shaped by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), these guidelines have an enormous impact on US perceptions and behaviors regarding nutrition and health, which is why it’s critical to communicate the science on coffee and health.
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.
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?”
Explore some highlighted insights from each of the mini reports below – and NCA members can check out the on-demand webinar, Single Cup & Consumer Insight Reports, featuring Cheryl Hung, Dig Insights VP.
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.
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.
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: