STiR Tea & Coffee Industry International

Volume 3, Number 3

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20 STiR tea & coffee industry international can more easily spread through - and be tested in - the marketplace of ideas and the market for coffee. Therefore, one crucial element of our approach is bringing together the industry's leading thought leaders, experts, innovators and entrepreneurs to address issues up and down the supply chain – a marshalling of disparate talents and resources to foster the well-being of the industry and ensure a sustainable worldwide coffee community. Engaging in a more structured way, the NCA is part of the official U.S. govern- ment delegation to the ICO and primary interface with organizations worldwide including producing nation associations, scientific bodies, U.S. legislative and regulatory agencies, and other food industry trade associations. More generally, the NCA continues to help create and make available a wide variety of resources so that fact-based decisions can be made to address the issues we all care about – such as an online repository of information, news collection, and coordination and compilation of other industry and member initiatives. A very important example is how the NCA serves as home to the NCA Scientific Advisory Group, an elite group of industry scientists who monitor and study all research on coffee and caffeine, and also deliver technical analysis critical to regulatory and legal matters that hinge on scientific knowledge. Q: NCA is known as an authoritative source of statistics and trends through its annual survey, extensive data tables and publications. Discuss your view of the organization as a generator and repository of industry data in an age of big data. A: The NCA has measured U.S. coffee consumption for more than 60 years. The NCA's National Coffee Drinking Trends annual survey is the longest tracking study of its kind. The NCDT research is unique in its cross-category reach and pre-competitive, non-branded look at American coffee consumption habits, behaviors and attitudes. Based on industry reception, the NCDT results are highly anticipated each year and have become the gold standard for gauging consumer engagement across all sectors of the category. The study's massive data field is honed into a main report, published in late spring, but is also available as a full set of tabular data. Each year, additional reports are developed to take deeper dives into topics of particular relevance – like the recent Single-Serve and Coffee and Ethnicity reports. As an industry trade association, however, the NCA cannot deliver consumption statistics based on brand identification or retail pricing or revenues. So, for what the NCA cannot provide, it has partnered with private firms to deliver. Chief among them is StudyLogic, a market research firm with an expansive market database, which tracks and analyzes branded consumption and retail data that are cross-tabulated by a host of behavioral and demographic variables. Going forward, I would anticipate similar partnerships that would capture resources that the NCA cannot deliver but that the industry needs. Q: What are your benchmarks of a healthy trade association? A: For me there are two important benchmarks: member satisfaction and financial health. Start with the second: no organization, regardless of its mission, can survive without adequate resources. Thus it is important to nurture and grow an organization's finances. Your first question follows from that: member satisfaction can be expressed many ways, but certainly a willingness to remain as a member of the organization, a willing- ness to recommend membership, satisfaction with programs and out- comes - these are the types of top-level metrics I look at. Q: So tell us Bill how do you take your morning coffee? Sweet with heavy cream or dark as night. A: I had an opportunity at the NCA Annual Convention in New Orleans to attend a cupping session led by Stephen Schulman. He opened a new world for me, and now I drink my coffee black. Editor's Note: Read more of our conversation at www.Stir-Tea-Coffee.com. Murray and STiR Tea & Coffee International Managing Editor Dan Bolton NEWS

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