Consumer choice in the coffee aisle continues to expand as leading brands and retailers attempt to keep pace with the tastes of Americans who have awakened to the gourmet coffee experience.
Credit Starbucks and a host of coffeehouse imitators for fueling the gourmet phenomenon that has transformed retailers' approach to the category as gourmet coffee drinking increases at a rate faster than the overall category's growth.
"Gourmet is rather significant and now has more than 28 million daily drinkers. Four years ago, it was about seven million," said Gary Goldstein, a spokesman for the National Coffee Association (NCA).
Daily consumption of gourmet …