The Coffee Consumption Scenario
There has been fluctuation trend in coffee consumption in the United States for many years. The National Coffee Association’s Winter Coffee Drinking Study started tracking this trend for almost 40 years and its studies reveal that the change in the coffee consumption pattern is “inelastic. ” Small changes take place periodically. For example, the consumption of coffee declined from a little more than three cups a person a day in 1962 to less than two-and-a-half cups a person a day.
This was further reduced by another half cup between 1972 and 1977. The decline especially between 1975 and 1977 was tremendous because of a severe frost in Brazil, when coffee production declined and prices shot up steeply. Since then the consumption is about one-third of a cup a person a day. Coffee consumption also faced competition from other food products. Food products underwent a sea of change since the 1960s. Many different varieties of foods were constantly being experimented with to tempt the consumer.
For example, the simple breakfast cereal became available in so many different flavors to suit different moods, occasions, and palates of consumers. There were chocolate and fruit varieties that could be eaten plain or mixed with milk, sugar, or honey, and the list went on. There were also the fat-free, cholesterol-free, sugar-free varieties to suit individual health needs. They were very convenient to eat and they didn’t compromise on good health either.
As far as beverages were concerned, there were ready-to-drink products that could be taken hot or cold, with or without milk, and the choice went on again. In fact, it was during the early 1970s that there was a popular trend in the United States for flavored coffee. The Winter Coffee Drinking Study found that while the consumption of coffee decreased tremendously since 1970, tea consumption increased during the period. The consumption of various other foods shot up in the last thirty years. However, coffee consumption slumped.