Millennials Driving Up Coffee Demand and Prices

By Mollie Shultz

According to a recent study, coffee consumption and demand is set to reach historic highs in America. Much of this consumption is coming from the millennial generation.

According to the study, millennials are consuming more coffee than adults, and more than people their age have in the past. Because of the high demand for coffee, prices have skyrocketed across coffee shops nationwide. In addition, more and more coffee shops are popping up around the country, especially in areas where there is a high concentration of young adults.

An example of this trend can be seen at Iowa State University. In the last couple of years, many coffee shops have popped up both on and around campus, and in the Ames community. Just last year, a new Starbucks opened on Lincoln Way across from the Memorial Union, along with new university apartments, immediately giving the new Starbucks their target customers.

Along with that Starbucks, smaller shops have been popping up around campus. There are small cafés in the Gerdin Business Building, Curtiss Hall and Parks Library. These cafés, and others not listed, joined Caribou Coffee, which has been around for a number of years and is located in The Hub.

Despite all of the areas to buy coffee on campus, lines are usually extremely long, and some students believe it is getting worse. Inna Komm, a junior in marketing said that although she does go to Starbucks and Caribou Coffee for specialty drinks, she has started making her own coffee at home to save money and time.

Komm believes she needs coffee, and this is a necessary step. “So, since I started college, I have definitely started drinking more coffee. I think it’s really important to be able to get through the day because otherwise I’m just really tired,” said Komm.

Komm has come to the realization that because of the rising prices, homemade drinks are the best way for her to save her money.

In addition to consumers feeling the pressures of rising demand and prices, baristas and other employees have noticed the changes among millennials and feel the pressure as well.

Ashley Buising, a junior marketing student and former barista has seen the changes firsthand.

“Last year, I used to work as a barista, and while I was working, the lines got a lot longer during the school year, and it was all college-aged students,” said Buising. Buising stated that part of the reason she got a new job was because of the craziness of working in such a high-demand area.

The demand for coffee and rising prices are not going away anytime soon, and according to the study, some believe it is changing the landscape of this business for good.


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