Starbucks coffee isn't as strong as you think

Packages of Folgers coffee are displayed on a shelf at Cal-Mart Market.

What we're about to tell you may well make you spit up your cappuccino.

The best selling coffee brand in stores in this country isn't Starbucks or those single-country of origin grown beans you get from your corner café.

According to Venessa Wong at Bloomberg Businessweek, the best-selling coffee is none other than Folgers.

"Folgers has a pretty solid lead in the coffee market, they had an average of 15.6 percent market share in the U.S. market," says Wong.

And the second best-selling coffee? Maxwell House. (Private labels came in third and Green Mountain Coffee in fourth.)

"Starbucks held only 3.3 percent [of coffee sales in the market] and I think that's because people prefer to drink Starbucks at ... their locations," Wong says.

According to Wong, Folgers "attributed part of the jump last quarter to marketing efforts, such as a Folgers's jingle contest in June that resulted in this folksy song about coffee and sunrises, and an aroma that 'fills the room and inspires life.'"

Wong says "it feels a little bit like Jack Johnson meets Mumford and Sons with a twist of caffeine."

Overall, coffee sales, and our caffeine levels, are way, way up.

"We are drinking so much coffee, and we're drinking more Folgers Coffee, so we probably all need a nap," she says. "But it's easier to get a coffee in the middle of the day."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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