Here's a coffee article from MSNBC's Money Central. Money Central manages to remain the only consistently interesting portion of MSNBC.
The basic background of the article is a bit dated. About 15 years ago or so, youngsters and even not-so-youngsters started going to coffee houses to get coffee. Remember the show Friends being quite contemporary at the time for having a coffee house as one of the main sets? The article skips this and jumps right into its result: people are demanding high-falootin' coffee these days. The coffee houses? Not so much. People drink their coffee on the go more often than not and as a result of the on-the-go and "high-quality" coffee trends, the popular supermarket coffees (specifically Folgers and Maxwell House) are struggling. The supermarket powerhouses want in on the action. Now. 15 years too late. And somehow they can't seem to get a foothold.
The article skips a pretty big demographic when talking about the percentage of coffee drinkers:
18-24: 37%, 40-59: 60%, 60 and over: 74%
What are the numbers on the 25-39 year olds? 18-24 year olds don't generally need coffee. What do they need to wake up early for? Somehow that noontime cup on hangover Sunday just doesn't have the same satisfaction as the 6AM cup on your way to work. It's only after you've been working full time a few years that coffee becomes so attractive. Their argument would be much more persuasive if they included that important 25-39 demographic but I imagine they left it out for a reason.
Then again, with an argument like "How Folgers lost its cool," I'm not entirely sure their argument can be saved. Folgers was never cool. Folgers was the coffe your grandma drank. And you know what? It's the coffee I drink when I can help it. In fact, other than my Maxwell-House-drinking mother, my mother's side of the family all drink Folgers. It's decent coffee. I buy a large can from Sams Club about twice a year and keep it in the pantry. I'm sure snooty would-be coffee aficionados would scorn me for it but who cares? Much like most of my fellow brethren in the 25-39 age group, we stopped trying to be cool back when we were 24.
Of course, if Folgers and Maxwell House had been trying to make inroads into my age group back when we were the 18-24 year olds, maybe there wouldn't be so many in my age group who are already in the habit of buying Starbucks. Folgers and Maxwell House need to hire some mid-90's tobacco executives and build their base young because these days, you need to get people drinking coffee in their youth. I just hope Folgers has the good sense not to tamper with their flagship coffee too much.