Our love affair with coffee is also about brands

Americans certainly love their coffee.

According to the National Coffee Association (yes, there is one) coffee consumption was up in 2011 and is expected to continue climbing in 2012. Here’s a few numbers for you.

• 40% of 18-24 year olds drink coffee daily, up from 31% in 2010.
• 54% of adults age 25-39 said they drink coffee daily, up from 44% in 2010.

I’m highlighting the 18-39 crowd because I truly believe that drinking coffee has become more about fashion than about taste and enjoyment.

On any given morning take a look around your environment as you head off to work, school or to drop off the kids. You’ll notice most people are carrying disposable cups with Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks logos on them, but few no-name, reusable travel mugs. Why is that?

Does it take too long to brew coffee at home? Is it too difficult to remember to bring the reusable container to a Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks near you?

The reason is simply because Americans are all about name brands. They somehow believe that labels say something about them – who they are, how much money they make and their taste in the finer things of life.

What it tells me is you have a lot of disposable income (a $2-$5 expense) and care little about the environment (while the paper cups can be recycled, but rarely are, the plastic lids cannot be).

Yes from time to time I do enjoy a Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks coffee. But I regularly leave home each morning with my reusable travel mug filled with my own home brew.


Well for starters I’m cheap. But mostly I don’t feel like adding to the environmental waste we continually produce, and I’m certainly not impressed by something someone has just because of its name.