There's no question coffee drinkers are getting younger and younger. The average age at which someone begins drinking coffee has steadily declined over the last several years. A vast majority of this growth is within the high school age demographics, and for school systems looking for new ideas, there are benefits of a high school coffee program.
The beverages of choice for this demographic tend toward premium and espresso-based drinks.
According to a study commissioned by S&D Coffee & Tea, Inc. on the trends and demographics of younger coffee drinkers, the average age of coffee initiation is now 15. In comparison, older Millennials began drinking coffee at age 17, and those in Generation X began around age 19. These trends are expected to continue, and for school nutrition programs that are prepared with a school coffee program, there will be numerous benefits. Let's take a look at three of the most important ones:
Not all caffeinated beverages are created equal. With sodas and energy drinks, students consume an overabundance of sugar, preservatives, colorings, and flavorings. Coffee and espresso drinks, on the other hand, contain just ground coffee beans and milk. By providing additional sources for dairy and replacing caffeinated sodas with coffee, a school can enhance its nutrition program.
One of the biggest challenges for a school nutrition program is student participation. Students often leave campus for meals and beverages because the most desirable options aren't on campus. By implementing a school coffee program, a high school can take advantage of increases in teenage coffee consumption and keep students on campus. This keeps students safer, helps eliminate traffic issues, reduces the potential for students to get in trouble, and a school coffee store can provide a great opportunity to teach students how to run a business.
It goes without saying that school budgets are getting tighter and tighter. By keeping students on campus and providing options for premium coffee and espresso drinks, a school can gain a valuable profit center.
See a High School Coffee Program in Action
Jenison High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan implemented a school coffee program, and within weeks, they began to see some of the benefits listed above. Learn more about the school's Green Bean Coffee Shop, and discover the details behind their success.