If there is any question whether gourmet coffee is growing in popularity, check to see how many coffee houses are in your town.
Seattle, Wash. gave birth to the café or latte culture in the 1970s to a café or 'latte' culture. This has improved the general quality of the coffee Americans drink, according to the National Coffee Association.
Coffee franchises no longer focus on major metropolitan areas. Today, most public place have at least one coffee cart. Suburbs outside cities, as well as those in more rural areas have some major chains serving coffee. It just took a little longer to get to t hem.
The specialty coffee sector has improved the image of coffee in the eyes of American consumers.
In 1991 it was estimated that there were just 500 gourmet or specialty coffeehouses. By 2005 there were an estimated 10,000 or more. This number excludes coffee carts, kiosks, vending machines and cafes in bookstores, sporting arenas and transportation facilities, which have also grown.
The National Coffee Association predicts that gourmet coffee consumption grew from 12 percent in 2003 to 14 percent in 2004, according to 2004 National Coffee Drinking Trends . Consumer awareness of the origins they drink does lead to product loyalty and the development of a brand image, which only leads to the belief that the gourmet coffee drinking public may continue to grow.
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