PAIL Group: Coffee Consumption

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Americans drink a lot of coffee—consuming “about 25% of the world’s market” (Strand, 2009). Some of this coffee is consumed in the home and some is consumed outside of the home, in locations such as coffee shops. Research by the National Coffee Association (2010) indicates that significantly more people consume coffee at home than outside of the home. In fact, according to NCAUSA’s research concerning daily consumption, 82% of participants reported drinking coffee at home, but only 30% were reported to drink coffee outside of the home. Method Discussion College Students Coffee Consumption Preferences: Homemade or Coffee Shops? Pamela Sri, Alycia Lum, Irene Kim, & Lydia Johnson Azusa Pacific University Chart #1 Chart #2 References Literature Review Results PAIL Figure 1 displays the survey outcome for the amount of times each participant consumed coffee during the week our survey was conducted. On average, the majority of participants (i.e., 41%) consumed coffee approximately 2.5 times in the week of our survey. The approximate mean value of 2.5 resulted in a standard deviation of 1.01. Our hypothesis was as follows: If given a choice, students will prefer to go to a food or beverage establishment for coffee rather than drinking it at home or in their dorms. According to our survey results, it appears as though our hypothesis was substantiated. The majority of surveyed students reported that they prefer to go to a coffee shop for coffee. Bell, L. N., Wetzel, C. R., & Grand, A. N. (1996). Caffeine content in coffee as influenced by grinding and brewing techniques [Abstract]. Food Research International, 29 (8), 785-789. Participants 17 participants were recruited in this study. All participants are undergrad. students recruited from Azusa Pacific University.. Materials A coffee consumption questionnaire was used in this study to assess participants’ pattern of coffee consumption and preference of location to obtain coffee. How many times in the past week did you consume coffee? I prefer to go to a coffee shop for coffee.

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Literature Review Americans drink a lot of coffee — consuming “about 25% of the world’s market” (Strand, 2009). Some of this coffee is consumed in the home and some is consumed outside of the home, in locations such as coffee shops. Research by the National Coffee Association (2010) indicates that significantly more people consume coffee at home than outside of the home. In fact, according to NCAUSA’s research concerning daily consumption, 82% of participants reported drinking coffee at home, but only 30% were reported to drink coffee outside of the home.

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Literature Review Something that may influence choices about coffee-consumption location is whether or not a given consumer is a student. According to an article in The Daily Californian, students “flock to cafes in search of a lively, social atmosphere to enhance their studies ” (Oblea, 2009). In addition, the owners of the cafes and coffee shops described in the article reported an “increase in sales…during finals week” (Oblea, 2009).In other words, it appears that for students, coffee consumption habits may be related to studying habits. It is also possible that research studies concerning the coffee drinking habits of students may be less reliable if they do not take into account potential changes of drinking habits due to the academic season in which the research takes place. The existing literature concerning coffee-drinking habits allows for exploration of influences on in-home versus out-of-home coffee consumption from a wide range of perspectives. These perspectives on coffee drinking take into account factors such as student-status, sex, economic concerns, the “atmosphere” of various coffee-drinking locations, and the attributes of the actual coffee being consumed. Each of these aspects of the coffee drinking experience can provide clues as to why individuals may make certain choices about where to consume their coffee.

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Literature Review The available literature concerning coffee-drinking locations seems to indicate that the sex of the consumer may also be a factor . For example, Myers et. al., (2010) state that “evidence from a field study of wait times in Boston-area coffee shops that suggests that female customers wait an average of 20 seconds longer for their orders than do male customers even when controlling for gender differences in orders.” This suggests that obtaining coffee from a coffee shop may be a slightly different experience for women than it is for men . Perhaps this is one potential explanation for why men appear to drink more coffee outside of their homes and less coffee at home, in comparison to women (National Coffee Association, 2010).

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Literature Review Of course, many other gender-related factors could add to the complexity of coffee-drinking habits in general. For example, researchers performing a study of Australians’ consumption of tea and coffee found that “women consumed more beverages than men, but showed a lower preference for coffee” (Luciano et. al., 2005). Another study, this time involving Finnish participants, found that “ coffee was consumed equally by men and women ” (Laitala, Kaprio, & Silventoinen, 2008). Another influence on coffee-drinking habits is money. According to Mitchell et. al.(1995), who performed an experimental study which involved using coffee as a reinforcer, the consumption of things such as coffee are “influenced by various [economic] factors”. Economic pressures may more drastically influence the coffee drinking habits of college students , considering considering that “42 percent of undergraduates borrow money for school” (Oblea, 2009). At the same time, many students may not be fully aware that “a five-day-a-week $3 latte habit on borrowed money can cost $4,154, when repaid over 10 years” (Oblea, 2009).

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Literature Review In spite of the cost of buying coffee outside of the home, coffee shops are popular, perhaps because they “have become America’s public living and dining rooms” (Ruzich, 2008). In other words, when consumers make purchases in a coffee shop, they may consider themselves to be buying not just cup of coffee, but a certain type of atmosphere. Waxman (2006) used surveys and interviews to better “understand the coffee shop environment.” She concluded that “patrons were attached to their particular coffee shops for a variety of reasons” (Waxman, 2006), which she went on to describe. For this discussion, however, the important fact to note is not the reason a consumer has for being attached to a coffee shop, but rather the concept that consumers can be attached to a coffee shop . From the marketing perspective of Yu & Wenchang (2009), “a memorable experience becomes one of the major determinants of customer perceived value.”

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Literature Review Besides the memorable atmosphere of coffee shops, the attributes of the coffee itself may impact whether or not consumers choose to drink coffee at home or outside of the home. For example, there are “variable caffeine contents in coffee resulting from the mode of preparation” (Bell, Wetzel, & Grand, 1996). Coffee obtained from a coffee shop may be prepared differently than a consumer’s home-brewed coffee, and therefore could contain a different amount of caffeine. Likewise, the comparison between the often relatively limited coffee selection in consumers’ cupboards and the typically vast “in-store coffee board descriptions of various blends” (Ruzich, 2008) may sway consumers’ decisions. From the coffee itself to much broader social factors, the literature reveals there are many influences on the choices that consumers make in regard to drinking coffee in their homes or in other locations.

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Method Participants 17 participants were recruited in this study. All participants are undergraduate students recruited from Azusa Pacific University. All participants are volunteers and consented to participate in the study. Participants were not randomly sampled. All participants are free from any obvious physical and sensory impairment. Materials A coffee consumption questionnaire was used in this study to assess participants’ pattern of coffee consumption and preference of location to obtain coffee. The questionnaire was created in an online format through SurveyMonkey. There were a total of 10 questions in the questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of eight quantitative questions (one multiple choice question, six scaling questions, and one numerical question) and two qualitative questions (two open ended questions). The response alternatives for each scaling question were arranged on a 5-point likert scale measuring the degree of agreement, (i.e., strongly disagree, disagree, and neither agree nor disagree).

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Method Procedure The research design and purpose of this study was sent to the OIRA to be reviewed. The study was approved by the OIRA. The study was conducted in a survey form. Participants were approached and asked whether if they are interested in participating in our survey. If they are, they will be given a written statement of informed consent including he OIRA approval header with the approval registration number and brief description on the participation process of the study. Participants were then asked to complete an online survey (coffee consumption questionnaire) through ‘SurveyMonkey’ and submit the survey as soon as possible when they are done. There was no time limitation to complete the survey.

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Results Figure 1 displays the survey outcome for the amount of times each participant consumed coffee during the week our survey was conducted. On average, the majority of participants (i.e., 41%) consumed coffee approximately 2.5 times in the week of our survey. The approximate mean value of 2.5 resulted in a standard deviation of 1.01. The substantial variability of this result demonstrates a wide range of coffee consumption ranging anywhere from 4 – 10+ times as well as no reported coffee consumption in the week of our survey. Due to the extreme variability of these results, it appears that the amount of coffee consumption, thus far is inconclusive. The second item on our survey gathered information pertaining to participant preferences to consume coffee from a coffee shop (see Figure 2). Here, the results show a mean value of 4 and a standard deviation of 0.71. According to the results of this survey item, most participants agree that they prefer to go to a coffee shop for coffee. Half of the remaining participants reported neither agree nor disagree, while the other half strongly agree. Finally, no participants disagreed or strongly disagreed with this survey item. Therefore, this item reveals that most students prefer to go to an establishment for coffee as opposed to consuming coffee at home.

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Results When asked about their preferences to make coffee at home, approximately 42% of participants reported neither agreeing nor disagreeing. Approximately 42% of participants reported agreeing that they prefer to make coffee at home. Most participants (8 out of 17 respondents) agreed that they are able to drink coffee in their setting of choice (see Figure 3). Five students neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement. Two participants strongly agreed that they are able to consume coffee in their preferred setting. Two participants reported disagreeing with the statement, while zero participants reported strongly disagreeing with the statement. The results from this item resulted in a mean value of 3.59 and a standard deviation of 0.87. This demonstrates substantial variability with regard to students’ ability to consume coffee in their preferred setting. The fifth survey question explored the importance of coffee accessibility . Most students reported strongly agreeing to the importance of coffee accessibility. Six students reported agreeing with the importance of accessibility. Two students took a neutral position reporting neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the importance of accessibility. Zero participants reported disagreeing with the importance of accessibility, while one participant strongly disagreed with the importance of accessibility. It is important to note that, of the 17 total participants, only 16 participants responded to this item.

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Results We polled students’ opinion about the coffee quality (i.e., standards of taste) in establishments, and the majority of those polled reported neither agreeing nor disagreeing. Most of the remaining participants either agreed or disagreed, while three participants strongly agreed . None of the participants strongly disagreed to the statement, “Coffee made in establishments tastes the best. ” An overwhelming amount of participants (76.5%) reported neither agreeing nor disagreeing to the statement, “Coffee made at home tastes the best .” No participants agreed or strongly agreed to the statement. Three participants disagreed, and one participant strongly disagreed with the statement. For the final quantitative question, the survey asked students to respond to the statement, “I am able to consume my favorite brand of coffee on a regular basis.” While the 35.3% of participants reported that this was the case sometimes, 29.4% of participants reported that their ability to consume their favorite brand of coffee on a regular basis was rare. The remaining participants reported that they were regularly able to consume their favorite coffee brand either quite often or very often.

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Results A few common themes emerged from the qualitative items. The first of two qualitative questions in our survey inquired about participants’ reasons for consuming coffee at home or at an establishment. Some of the responses to this question involved finances, the social aspect of coffee consumption, taste, and convenience. The second qualitative question explored participants’ preferences for coffee consumption. Many participants alluded to specialty coffee or espresso drinks such as Mocha, Americano, and Caramel Macchiato. Other participants preferred cream and sugar, just cream, or black coffee. One participant discussed his/her preference for homemade, ground coffee. Another participant specified the influence of weather and climate: “When I am cold, I want it hot. When I am hot I prefer iced.” One student reported that his/her preferences can occasionally “depend on mood.” Finally, one participant talked about environment and ambiance as being the most significant feature of his/her preference for coffee consumption: “Coffee shop’s atmosphere is my point to enjoy coffee. I like to enjoy the atmosphere more than the coffee.”

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Figure 1

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Figure 2

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Figure 3

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Discussion Our hypothesis was as follows: If given a choice, students will prefer to go to a food or beverage establishment for coffee rather than drinking it at home or in their dorms. According to our survey results, it appears as though our hypothesis was substantiated . The majority of surveyed students reported that they prefer to go to a coffee shop for coffee. Even though our survey results corroborate our hypothesis, our study might produce a different outcome if replicated in another environment or situation. First, our study took place at a Christian university located in Southern California. This type of environment could potentially contribute to a homogenous sample of similar belief systems about coffee consumption (e.g., some faith groups do not condone caffeine consumption) and preferences (e.g., politics and religion about coffee consumption at an establishment versus at home).

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Discussion Second, the temporal generalizability of this study might definitely be compromised by the current economic and social climate. For example, conducting this survey with college students twenty years from now, when the economy could be much more stable than it is now, might impact student preferences. In another instance: season, weather, and temperature of participants’ primary coffee-consuming setting could also potentially play a role in qualitative results. Many participants suggested a preference for hot coffee simply by saying “regular” or “black” or “with cream and sugar,” because coffee is typically served warm. As one participant noted, weather and how a student is responding to external temperature could have an impact on flavor or whether or not coffee is consumed. The convenience sampling of our experiment no doubt also played a significant role in research outcomes. While we sought to diversify our participants, we were limited to seeking out candidates with similar work and school schedules. Unfortunately, genuine randomness of our sample might have been compromised, thus necessitating further research.

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Discussion It is also possible that the element of maturation played a significant role in the outcomes, especially the qualitative questions. We conducted our experiment at the end of March, which was approximately the middle of the semester. Because our sample consisted of college students, participants could have been physically and mentally exhausted, could have contributed to incomplete explanations. Furthermore, it maturation could explain why one participant did not respond to item 5. As a stepping-stone for further research, this experiment shows that the majority of college students prefer to consume coffee at an establishment for a variety of intrinsic, financial, and social reasons . Further research needs to be conducted in a variety of collegiate settings across the nations (e.g., rural communities, public universities). Understanding student preferences for coffee consumption settings could provide insight about student palates, flavor, and coffee quality, which would be beneficial for business and marketing. Moreover, student preferences might also reflect the current economic climate, but may also exhibit typical financial strains, academic burdens (e.g., performance, time, location), and social needs.

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References Bell, L. N., Wetzel, C. R., & Grand, A. N. (1996). Caffeine content in coffee as influenced by grinding and brewing techniques [Abstract]. Food Research International, 29 (8), 785-789. Black, K. (2009). Business statistics: contemporary decision making (6 ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Harden, B. (2005, June 18). Javanomics 101: today’s coffee is tomorrow’s debt. Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Laitala, V. S., Kapiro, J., & Silventoinen, K. (2008). Genetics of coffee consumption and its stability. Addiction, 103, 2054-2061. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02375.x Luciano, M., Kirk, K. M., Heath, A. C., & Martin, N. G. (2005). The genetics of tea and coffee drinking and preference for source of caffeine in a large community sample of Australian twins. Addiction, 100 (10) , 1510- 1517. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2005.01223.x Mitchell, S. H., Laurent, C. L., De Wit, H. & Zacny, J. P. (1995). Effects of price, ‘openess’ of the economy and magnitude of the alternative reinforcer on responding for caffeinated coffee. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 10 (1) , 39-46.

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References Myers, C. K., Bellows, M., Fakhoury, H., Hale, A. H., & Ofman, K. (2010). Ladies First? A Field Study of Discrimination in Coffee Shops. Applied Economics, 42 (12) , 1761-1769. doi: 10.1080/00036840701721687 National Coffee Association USA (2010). Portrait of the coffee consumer: the impact of age, gender, & ethnicity on consumer behaviors & attitudes. Retrieved from http://www.ncausa.org/i4a/pages/ index.cfm?pageid=715 Oblea, E. (2009, December 7). Coffee shops see boost in sales during finals. The Daily Californian. Retrieved from http://archive.dailycal.org/ Ruzich, C. M, (2008). For the love of Joe: the language of Starbucks. The Journal of Popular Culture, 41 (3), 428-442. doi: 10.1111/j.1540- 5931.2008.00529.x Strand, O. (2009, November 30). Coffee. The New York Times . Retrieved f rom http://www.nytimes.com/ Waxman, L. (2006). The coffee shop: social and physical factors influencing place attachment. Journal of Interior Design, 31 (3), 35-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1668.2006.tb00530.x

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References Yu, Hueiju, & Fang, Wenchang (2009). Relative impacts from product quality, service quality, and experience quality on customer perceived value and intention to shop for the coffee shop market. Total Quality Management Business Excellence, 20 (11), 1273-1285. doi: 10.1080/14783360802351587 The End

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