Tuesday, February 5, 2013


According to Derek Thompson, a senior editor at The Atlantic, ten years ago Americans drank enough soda every year to fill a small aquarium: fifty-three gallons of the stuff per person.  That's half a liter of Diet Coke on an average day.  Compare that to our other favorite liquid-caffeine companion. For every cup of coffee we consumed in 2003, we drank two cups of soft drink. For $1 we spent on coffee, we spent $4 on soda.

Now look where we are: Soda is in a free fall, with domestic revenue down 40%.  Coffee culture is ascendant, up 50% in ten years.  In another decade, the United States could easily spend more on coffee than soda -- something utterly unthinkable at the turn of the century.

Four factors are behind this remarkable caffeinated convergence:

(1) The health thing.  This hardly requires summary.  Soda ain't cigarettes, but sugary soft drinks have faced a similar cultural and political backlash in the last decade.  As obsessively healthy attitudes have osmosed from yoga yuppies to the general population, local governments have turned on soda, pressing school bans and cup-volume limits.  Fading consumer sentiment has had twin impacts: pushing soda drinkers to switch to cheaper brands and encouraging soda companies to shift toward diet drinks, smaller bottles, and alternative drinks.

(2) The water and energy-drink craze.  Americans drink about 180 gallons of liquid every year.  That number is practically carved in stone.  It's zero-sum.  When a soda drinker decides she wants to drink iced tea with lunch from now on, she's won't order a Diet Coke and an iced tea.  She'll just switch.  When we drink more of one kind of beverage -- bottled water sales are up 50 percent in the last decade; sports and energy drink sales are up 100 percent -- those gains have been soda's pains.  The rise of energy drinks is especially important because energy drinks directly replace soft drinks among customers who buy Diet Coke and its ilk for an afternoon pick-up.  Americans still drink more soda than any other "category" of drink, like milk or juice.  But the gap is fading quickly. 

(3) Ascendant coffee culture.  Coffee consumption in the U.S. is basically flat, after two decades when Starbucks and other national coffee shops sprouted like a steroidal ragweed along urban and suburban sidewalks.  But young consumers haven't yet had their fix, and as this demographic trades up for more expensive coffee when the economy recovers, the overall industry should continue buzzing.  Just as studies showing the ill effects of sugary drinks have hurt soda, studies showing that we can basically drink as much coffee as we want, permit young people to go back for refills.  Consumption has increased the most for consumers between 18 and 24, and younger consumers are more likely to drink coffee on a daily basis today than five years ago and the most likely to drink espresso drinks.

(4) Rising coffee prices. Coffee's growth isn't just a matter of trading up to more expensive lattes, it's also a case of paying more each year for the same cup. "Much of the revenue growth in the past five years was stimulated by a 14.1% annualized increase in the world price of coffee," which were mostly passed on to customers.

The Kona Cowboy Coffee Company can satisfy your soft drink replacements with our four brands of gourmet coffees.  You’ll get a real start on having a great cup of joe with PANIOLA 100% Kona Cowboy Coffee, grown on Hawaiian volcanoes and roasted in the Rocky Mountains … the one with no bitter aftertaste and no acidity.  CAFÉ PINON de Nuevo Mexico is the Southwest’s favorite with pinion nuts and a perfect way to improve your coffee happiness during the day.  And our MOKA-JAVA is a medium dark roasted blend of Indonesian and Ethiopian coffees that will make you positively positive!  We also make COWBOY ACTION COFFEE, the Official Coffee of the Single Action Shooting Society! 

The purpose of this blog is to unite Kona coffee lovers and perhaps learn a little about coffee and all the benefits of coffee at the same time.  Join up, become a member, comment and have fun!  You can find the Kona Coffee Fiends group on Facebook and we’d appreciate it if Facebook users would “LIKE” the Kona Cowboy Coffee Company page at www.facebook.com/pages/Kona-Cowboy-Coffee-Company/222070817858553.  Just copy and paste to your browser.  You can also find us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/jackshuster.  And on the web at www.KonaCowboyCoffee.com to order your gourmet coffee and coffee products.
You know you’re a coffee fiend when you're the employee of the month at the local coffeehouse and you don't even work there!  So enjoy your coffee, make it Kona, and remember, Kona is the home of the Hawaiian cowboy…and we had cowboys in Kona before there were cowboys in Texas!

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