Americans love their cups of coffee. That point became clear as coffee and tea manufacturers accounted for 49 percent of the total beverage Pacesetter dollars in 2011, according to Chicago-based SymphonyIRI Group’s “2011 New Product Pacesetters” report.

The research firm annually presents its Pacesetters benchmark analysis of first-year consumer product goods sales success for newly launched products across food, drug and mass merchandise channels, excluding Walmart. In the overall food and beverage market, three beverages landed in the Top 10: Folgers Gourmet Selections K-Cups, Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Sun Drop and Gold Peak Chilled Tea from The Coca-Cola Co.

“This is sort of a banner year for beverages because this year we saw 19 beverage products make Pacesetters,” says Larry Levin, executive vice president of consumer insights with SymphonyIRI. “… This year’s new beverage Pacesetters generated $447 million in revenue and it was largely anchored by the growth in single-cup coffee. Single-cup coffee alone generated $186 million in new sales and it really shows how the American population is jumping on the K-Cup bandwagon.”

Of the Top 10 beverage Pacesetters, six were single-serve coffee options — Folgers Gourmet Selections, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ Donut House Collection, Tully’s Coffee, Millstone Coffee, Caribou Coffee K-Cups  and Starbucks Via instant coffee.

Susan Viamari, editor of SymphonyIRI’s Times & Trends, says that single-cup coffee offerings allow consumers to bring that out-of-home dining experience into the home.

“A lot of them are bringing the coffee shop right into the home at a really important time because more than half of consumers are saying that they’re eating out less often than they have in the past.”

 Viamari adds that they’re seeing a change in the definition of success because few products will exceed $50 million in year one sales, opening the Pacesetter status to more niche products.