more thoughts on coffee than you can shake a stick at

First let me give credit to Jenn Larsen for her blog on the coffee wars. I started writing this as a comment to her original post, and realized it was getting really long! So thanks to her for inspiring my author’s mojo this morning.

I’ve actually been seeing a lot of press coverage before today on both Dunkin Donuts and Wendy’s seeking to expand their position within the coffee market. Both have apparently been positioning themselves to sell coffee to the “blue collar, regular guy.” (to paraphrase one of the execs from Dunkin” Wendy’s coffee ads with the guy working on the highrise development follows a similar line of thought.

Personally I’m surprised more European chains haven’t tried to get into the mix. Places like Costa Coffee could easily find a place alongside Cosi, Starbucks, and these other new comers.

Lisa Johnson’s “Mind Your X’s and Y’s” points out that Gen X and Y “crave good design, being part of a subculture, and a filter they can trust to edit the morass of products and information out there.” So with all the coffee competition being stirred up by these chain companies – perhaps the future of coffee is all about specialization. As the pendulum begins to swing the opposite direction, maybe DC and other major markets will become a showcase of talent in the fields of coffee imports, roasting, and drink creation.

While there may always be a need for a quick, convenient Starbucks-esque chain, perhaps one day we will find ourselves a little more “West Coast” with dozens of smaller, home-grown operations, providing exceptional quality and unique experiences for our enjoyment.

Caffeine, the legal drug of choice that drives American productivity.

1 Comment so far

  1. Jenn L (unregistered) on September 8th, 2006 @ 10:39 am

    And let me return the compliment, Smouie – great post. I love the last line! Considering I am so hopped up on Firehook right now that I am singlehandedly driving the region’s productivity for the day, I completely agree. Love the specialization angle – that would be my preferred result. But then I’m so Gen X it hurts.

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