2.12.3-THE MARKETS FOR COFFEE-NECESSITY FOR GENERIC PROMOTION
Necessity for generic promotion
At first glance, it may seem that generic promotion of coffee is unnecessary. The widespread consumption of coffee suggests that demand for the product is practically guaranteed. But there is a real need to educate potential consumers in emerging markets. Demand for coffee can decline as has been witnessed in the United States and in some parts of Europe.
Sporadic fragmented attempts at generic coffee promotion in the United States, for example, were unable to prevent the decline in daily consumption per head. It was only once the spotlight was turned back on coffee, thanks primarily to the specialty movement, that there was any real improvement in the situation. Although not entirely generic, a significant proportion of the advertising content promoting specialty coffee to date has been informative, educational and outwardly unbiased towards brands, so much so that it has been essentially generic. However there is now a very real danger that as the initial enthusiasm for specialty wears off, and with the growing corporatization of the specialty sector, the generic content of any promotion will diminish quite rapidly. There is therefore a need to replace this with an ongoing generic campaign in order to ensure that any gains are not only held on to but are also built upon.
In most countries coffee faces immense competitive pressures from the strong and ingenious generic promotional efforts of such beverages as tea and milk as well as from the many well-financed campaigns promoting various brands of soft drink and juice. These industries would like to convince coffee drinkers to switch to their products. Coffee drinkers need reassurance that coffee is the right drink for them. In addition new potential consumers need very basic information about coffee to allay any fears they might have about coffee and to learn the best ways of preparing the beverage. This is best achieved through generic promotion.
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