The Industry of Coffee and Hot Soup
Many Americans are regular coffee drinkers, and hot coffee is a fine choice of beverage for breakfast and brunch. Meanwhile, decaf coffee may be a fine choice for lunch or dinner, since regular coffee might over-stimulate the drinker later in the day and make sleep difficult. Coffee is beloved across the United States and abroad for its varied and rich flavors, its hot texture, creams and sugars that can be added, and its stimulant effect (outside of decaf). This makes for an impressive industry of coffee and its accessories, and it ranks among the most popular beverages in the world alongside beer, wine, tea, and plain water. It is certainly more common than other hot drinks such as hot cocoa, for example. Meanwhile, hot soup is also a fine choice for a meal, and it’s convenient to carry around, such as in soup containers.
Soup is a popular food around the world, and there’s no single standard or “right” way to make it. What’s convenient about soup is that it may involve nearly any type of pasta or noodle, broth, meat, or vegetables at all, and while there’s common soup such as beef stew or chicken noodle soup, soups can be improvised out of nearly anything. Hot soup can be a great way to use up leftovers, and anything can be tossed into the broth to make complete soup. Whether improvised or a regular, recipe-based soup, a hot soup may be easily taken to work in a leak-proof container as a convenient lunch. This is commonly done; Americans eat more than 10 billion bowls of soup each year altogether, and most often, women like to have soup for lunch, such as at work. Soup can be brought to work in leak-proof tupperware, for example, or it may be bought in a can, then placed in a bowl to be heated and eaten.
The Coffee Market
Soup, despite being mainly liquid, is ultimately a food, while coffee is a major player among beverages around the world. Coffee beans are cultivated worldwide, but they are often imported to nations that don’t grow them natively. The United States, for example, is the world’s single largest coffee market in the entire world. In 2014, for a recent example, the USA alone imported 27.5 million bags of un-roasted coffee goods, around one fourth of the entire world’s worth. Unsurprisingly, this makes for a juggernaut of an industry, and today, the United States’ coffee market has an estimated value close to $48 billion or so. Specialty coffees and goods make up 55% of that market share. And while some notable, large coffee brands are a major force in the coffee industry, there are countless smaller coffee shops who add up to a lot of value. Nearly any town or city block will have some independent, small coffee shops available, many of which may offer a homely air and may have unique recipes and blends on hand to make themselves distinct.
Who drinks coffee? A lot of people, to put it simply. About 30% of the American population drinks coffee at least occasionally, and around 150 million people, close to half the population, drink it regularly. American consumers, on average, consume 1.64 cups of coffee every day, but the average among dedicated drinkers may be closer to three cups per day. Most often, coffee is consumed with breakfast, and only small percentages of all coffee cups are consumed during other meals or between meals.
How is coffee drunk? This varies. Some 65% of Americans add sugar and/or cream to their coffee for more flavor, while around 35% of them drink it plain, or “black.” Either way, though, a coffee drinker might appreciate getting a drink to-go. Many business professionals may not have time (or a coffee maker) to prepare a brew in the morning, so they get coffee in disposable paper cups with plastic lids during their commute. These convenient containers are leak and spill resistant owing to their tough paper bodies and their tight-fitting plastic lids, and they often come with cardboard sleeves to protect the user’s skin from the hot paper body. Such cups can be safely disposed of elsewhere when empty.