Top Selling Coffee Brands in the USA in 1950 and today, compare and contrast how the market has changed at the Grocery level
Since coffee exploded on the market, it has topped the lists for measure of goods sold. In the UK tea may take top place as the drink of choice, but in America coffee is the go to beverage. Morning commuters stop for an over-sized cup every day, and many people only consider the morning started after their first cup of java. With all the coffee Americans consume, it is no surprise that many companies fight for the top distribution spot. Many of the most well-known coffee brands have produced a marvelous cup of joe for well over one hundred years. But which company takes the top spot, and which ones fall short?
Lamano’s Pick is one that immediately comes to mind as it is one of the leading brands for which not only USA but Canada and Mexico as well aside from European countries like England, Ireland, Germany, Spain, France and Italy and its coffee makers are something that deserve an entire article fully dedicated to themselves but then coffee has always been a weakness for Americans.
The 1950s characterized a period of incredible growth in the coffee industry. New Guinea entered the coffee market in a big way, and modern style coffee houses opened their doors. During this time, the most renowned coffee producers were Maxwell House, Folgers and Eight O’Clock Coffee. The production of a new espresso machine also contributed to the coffee explosion. With more consistent water flow, commercial coffee houses became a second home for Beatniks and counter-culture revolutionaries.
What Changed from the 1950s to Today
Many different types of coffee entered the market between the 1950s and today. Kona coffee, from Hawaii, started to distribution in 1959, quickly followed by the Columbian Coffee Federation formation in 1960. Later that decade, coffee became a driving political force, with President John F. Kennedy working with the UN on an international coffee agreement that put export quotas in place. Vacuum sealing to help ensure freshness for coffee beans entered the market in 1962. In 1963 the first auto drip coffee machine entered the market for restaurant use. Procter & Gamble purchased Folgers, “the best part of waking up”, in 1963 and shortly afterwards took the top distribution spot. Mr. Coffee started production in 1972, bringing the joy of automatic drip coffee into the home. Starbucks entered the market in 1982, though it was several years before they took a significant part of the grocery store market. It was not until 1995 that coffee became the most popular beverage on the planet. Then, the environmental impact of coffee production started to enter the public eye. Today, coffee continues to enjoy its spot as a top-selling consumer product. Of course, the top-selling brands of the 1950s did not all meet the challenges of the modern market.
Eight O’Clock Coffee enjoyed preeminence in the coffee industry for several decades, but it now comes in at a disappointing ninth place. Folgers now tops the list, followed closely by Maxwell House. Even with its relatively late entrance into the coffee market, Starbucks sits in a solid third place. In fact, Folgers and Maxwell House also occupy the fourth and fifth spots respectively, under their gourmet brands. It is interesting to note that Proctor & Gamble owns seven of the top ten brands sold in America. The remaining three are Starbucks, Chock-Full-Of-Nuts and Eight O’Clock Coffee, with only Starbucks ranking above fifth.