A Good Brew

Posted on October 12, 2007


Did you know that: "Youngsters drink far less coffee than their baby boomer parents, and, when they do, it’s more likely to be on the go. Only 37% of young adults between 18 to 24 drink coffee, compared with 60% for those between 40 and 59 and 74% for Americans over 60, according to National Coffee Assn. data."

The recent Business Week story, "Coffee: The Generation Gap" got me thinking about why GenXYZ might reject some products no matter how good they actually are.  Now, I’m certainly not saying that Folgers or Maxwell House are good coffees… Truthfully, I don’t know that I’ve ever tried them and that’s only because I associate the brands with my grandparents.  My grandparents have good taste in a lot of things (antiques, steaks, jewelry), but I’ve always wanted to be a little more cutting-edge when it comes to what I drink.

How can the "canned coffee" brands reach GenXYZ?  Personally, I think it will take a major rebranding effort.  Not only do they have to compete with other in-store brands, but they also have to take on the coffee houses. 

First things first, the packaging has to go!  Do they really still sell coffee in cans (those cans are only good for storing things once your grandparents have used all the coffee)?  I think that in order to reach my generation, Folgers and Maxwell House are going to have to do a lot more than meet Starbucks in the grocery aisle.  They need a new spin on the brand (beyond flavor).  Maybe it’s a new high tech canister… maybe a green marketing effort… or an "on the go" push with on-site marketing efforts in cities around the country.  I’m not sure, but I hope they’re working on it.

We may be drinking less coffee now, but we’re not getting any younger.

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