Raise your hand if you drink coffee every day. Yep, we thought so – lots of caffeine is used in students’ lives. Coffee is an essential part of our daily routine. The types of brewed coffee may vary, but coffee is consumed around the world and represents a significant export to many countries.
Americans alone drink 400 million cups of coffee every day; 85% of Americans have at least one cup of coffee at home each day. While estimates vary, about 42% of U.S. consumers own a single-cup coffee brewing system (such as K-Cups). Consumption of K-Cups now exceeds 30 billion units annually. That’s a lot of plastic waste!
While consumers love convenience, that convenience carries a cost to the environment with respect to the waste generated. Although many types of K-cups are now recyclable, couldn’t more be done to marry convenience with sustainability?
The answer to that question is a resounding “yes.” A new coffee brewing system is coming first to France and Germany from Swiss company Migros. The brewing system is called “CoffeeB” and it uses compressed balls of coffee grounds which are encased in a thin, tasteless, seaweed base that can be composted. The coffee balls will be available in multiple blends including espressos to decaf coffee and will include organic coffee options as well. No plastic waste!
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students: Who drinks coffee? How much? How is it brewed?
- Show video of CoffeeB system: https://youtu.be/49eo8F2H7zY
- Show Website: https://www.migros.ch/en/content/coffeeb
- Divide students into teams. Have them us their laptops to research the coffee industry.
- Build an environmental scan of the factors impacting the coffee industry: social, economic, technology, competitive, and regulatory.
- What are the opportunities and threats for CoffeeB?
- Alternative assignment: Develop a marketing plan for introducing CoffeeB in the U.S.
Sources: Rothman, L. (6 September 2022). How a ball of coffee could change your morning routine forever. Tasting Table.