Coffee vs Tea vs Soft Drinks: Caffeinated Drink Popularity
Coffee, tea, or soft drinks… How do you get your caffeine fix?
It might be the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive substance, but your preferred caffeine drink of choice might come down to where you live.
A study into caffeine consumption of 57 countries examined the role it plays in our diets, using the volume sales of caffeine-containing beverages from Euromonitor to see what caffeine source each country prefers.
The resulting map of caffeine preference shows regional trends, including some surprising standouts.
Most Purchased Caffeine Drink By Country
There are many different caffeine drinks for consumers to choose from, from brewed drinks to ready-to-drink vending machine options.
To simplify tastes, we grouped them into three types:
- Coffee — Includes fresh brewed coffee, instant coffee, and ready-to-drink coffee.
- Tea — Includes herbal, black, green, and other teas, as well as ready-to-drink tea.
- Soft Drinks — Includes colas, other soft drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks.
Here’s the full breakdown of each country’s preferred caffeine drink of choice, by volume sales.
|Country||Region||Most Purchased Caffeine Drinks|
|South Africa||Africa||Soft Drinks|
|Costa Rica||North America||Coffee|
|Dominican Republic||North America||Coffee|
|Guatemala||North America||Soft Drinks|
|Mexico||North America||Soft Drinks|
|U.S.||North America||Soft Drinks|
|Argentina||South America||Soft Drinks|
|Bolivia||South America||Soft Drinks|
|Chile||South America||Soft Drinks|
|Colombia||South America||Soft Drinks|
|Uruguay||South America||Soft Drinks|
|Venezuela||South America||Soft Drinks|
Examining the regional spread shows us some expected caffeine strongholds.
Tea was the preferred drink of choice for many countries in most of Asia, including China, India, Indonesia, and Japan. But it also showed a strong foothold in Africa, as Kenya is the world’s largest black tea exporter, and in Europe, as Turkey, Ireland, and the UK are the world’s top three tea-consuming countries per capita.
Coffee was the most preferred caffeine drink in a number of countries in Europe, including all of the Nordic countries. It is also the drink of choice in Canada, South Korea, and Brazil, the latter two being the only countries in Asia and South America to prefer coffee.
Perhaps most surprising is the global preference for soft drinks. The U.S. and most of Latin America overwhelmingly consumed soft drinks over other caffeine drinks, as did the Philippines, Thailand, and Australia. Even in Europe, some countries that are heavy coffee drinkers like Italy and Switzerland purchased more soft drinks than coffee by narrow margins.
Coke’s Influence on the Coffee vs Tea vs Soft Drinks Debate
Though the global map of caffeine preference looks regionally-specific at a glance, there are some notable business influences at play.
The proliferation of soft drinks in Latin America is largely due to the power of Coca-Cola. Mexico, the country which preferred soft drinks the most over other drinks, is also the world’s biggest consumer of Coca-Cola per capita. Coca-Cola also reached far beyond the borders of the U.S. where it originated, becoming a staple drink in many parts of Europe, Australia, and Asia.
This power of brands extends to coffee as well. Many coffee-preferring countries actually leaned more towards instant coffee purchases over freshly brewed coffee, a mark of the lasting influence of Nestlé’s brand of instant coffee, Nescafé.
But it’s important to note that many countries were not tabulated, and that caffeine purchases don’t differentiate between every single possible caffeine drink. There are many different types of coffees, teas, soft drinks, and even yerba mate for consumers to choose from.
As a snapshot of global caffeine consumption, it’s a reminder that the world’s most commonly consumed psychoactive stimulant is taken in many different forms. Both throughout history, and in modern times.
The Most Fuel Efficient Cars From 1975 to Today
This infographic lists the most fuel efficient cars over the past 46 years, including the current leader for 2023.
The Most Fuel Efficient Cars From 1975 to Today
When shopping for a new car, what is the most important factor you look for? According to Statista, it’s not design, quality, or even safety—it’s fuel efficiency.
Because of this, automakers are always looking for clever ways to improve gas mileage in their cars. Beating the competition by even the slimmest of margins can give valuable bragging rights within a segment.
In this infographic, we’ve used data from the EPA’s 2022 Automotive Trends Report to list off the most fuel efficient cars from 1975 to today.
Editor’s note: This is from a U.S. government agency, so the data shown skews towards cars sold in North America.
All of the information in the above infographic is listed in the table below. Data was only available in 5-year increments up until 2005, after which it switches to annual.
|Model Year||Make||Model||Real World Fuel Economy (mpg)||Engine Type|
From this dataset, we can identify three distinct approaches to maximizing fuel efficiency.
Prior to 2000, the best way for automakers to achieve good fuel efficiency was by downsizing. Making cars smaller (lighter) meant they could also be fitted with very small engines.
For example, the 1985 Chevrolet Sprint was rated at 49.6 MPG, but had a sluggish 0-60 time of 15 seconds.
The 2000s saw the introduction of mass-market hybrid vehicles like the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius. By including a small battery to support the combustion engine, automakers could achieve good MPGs without sacrificing so heavily on size.
While the Insight achieved better fuel economy than the Prius, it was the latter that became synonymous with the term “hybrid”. This was largely due to the Prius’ more practical 4-door design.
The following table compares annual U.S. sales figures for both models. Insight sales have fluctuated drastically because Honda has produced the model in several short spans (1999-2006, 2009-2014, 2018-2022).
|Year||Insight Sales||Prius Sales|
The Prius may have dominated the hybrid market for a long time, but it too has run into troubles. Sales have been declining since 2014, even setting historic lows in recent years.
There are several reasons behind this trend, with one being a wider availability of hybrid models from other brands. We also can’t ignore the release of the Tesla Model 3, which began shipping to customers in 2017.
We’re currently in the middle of a historic transition to electric vehicles. However, because EVs do not use fuel, the EPA had to develop a new system called MPGe (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent).
This new metric gives us the ability to compare the efficiency of EVs with traditional gas-powered cars. An underlying assumption of MPGe is that 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity is comparable to the energy content of a gallon of fuel.
The most fuel efficient car you can buy today is the 2023 Lucid Air, which achieves 140 MPGe. Close behind it is the 2023 Tesla Model 3 RWD, which is rated at 132 MPGe.
Check out this page to see the EPA’s top 10 most efficient vehicles for 2023.
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