It would be hard for anyone to deny that coffee has become increasingly more popular in the US within the last few decades. With cafes like Starbucks popping up on every corner, and home baristas taking the plunge into the world of specialty coffee, it’s no surprise that as we drink more coffee, we’d be drinking less of something else. In this case, that something is soda.
Now, while all of this makes sense, something about these former soda drinkers might surprise you, most of them are young people. People between the ages of 18 and 24 are among those who have begun substituting coffee for soda. Looking at this demographic, the first thing that comes to mind is college students. I know that in college I guzzled coffee like I had a wooden leg, and I haven’t stopped since. Cafes suit the “on the go” lifestyle of college students and as we become more and more conscious of our health, alternatives to sugary drinks become even more attractive. In my last article regarding coffee and soda, I took a look at a press release from the American Academy of Neurology, linking increased soda drinking with an increased risk of depression, and increased coffee drinking with a lowered risk.
The last, and possibly the largest facet to trend is the rise of coffee culture, which is a global phenomenon. Among our own citizens as well as those in India and China, more and more people with disposable incomes (middle class young people primarily) are flocking to cafes for a place to sit back, socialize, and sip on a latte. Why else would Starbucks be pushing so hard in the Asian market? And, according to a graph published in The Atlantic Magazine, soda revenues have decreased rather steeply from 2005 to present, whereas coffee revenues have been steadily increasing.
Declining revenues don’t mean that soda is going away forever however. New alternatives to traditionally buying a 12 pack or a 2 liter at the store, such as the popular Soda Stream, provide people with a means to still enjoy soda in a more affordable and environmentally friendly way. The point is, people still drink soda, and still enjoy soda, despite the dangers associated with it and the efforts of some politicians to better control it. The beverage as a whole has come under a lot of scrutiny lately, scrutiny which has caused it to be shunned in favor for coffee (in some cases).
I can’t say I’m super surprised by things happening the way they are, I’m actually quite happy about it. Personally, I don’t drink that much soda, and with all I’ve been reading lately, I’m just fine with that. At the end of the day, there’s really only so much you can drink of anything, and in my case, I’d prefer it was coffee.