The Costs of National Coffee Day

Yesterday was National Coffee Day, and in honor of this, many fast casual enterprises offered free coffee to their guests. This pseudo marketing ‘holiday’ (comparable to Doughnut Day or Gummi Worm Day) began in the U.S in 2005 and has been observed every year by chains such as Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Krispy Kreme amongst many others. While it is a clear marketing scheme, this year, due to higher coffee prices, the amounts of free cups of joe given away actually cost companies more than last year.

The price of coffee rose significantly this year due to a poor crop in certain growing areas of Brazil that suffered from poor weather. Michelle King, Dunkin’ spokeswoman, mentions that, “Coffee commodities fluctuate, and this year’s offers cost a little bit more than the offers from last year.” However, Dunkin’ did not believe the increased cost of coffee should halt their free coffee campaign as it would be a great way to introduce their new dark roast.

While prices are not as high as they were three years ago when Central America and Colombia suffered from very poor weather conditions, the situation is still not a positive one. Eventhough the International Coffee Organization foresees a coffee shortage over the next couple years, chances are that the marketing opportunity that is available for companies on a ‘holiday’ such as National Coffee Day will continue as it is a great way to gain loyal guests for breakfast which is the most competitive day part in the coffee segment.

To read more about the increased cost of coffee and what it meant for companies on National Coffee Day, click here

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