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Business Week reports that almost two-thirds of all adults between the ages of 25 and 44 go to upscale coffee bars like Starbucks and Caribou Coffee, and that the number of such establishments has risen from 15,400 in 2002 to close to 19,000 last year.

Marketers, according to Business Week, refer to this as “the Starbucks effect, which has turned coffee bars into workplaces and study halls and gotten consumers hooked on richer, pricier brews (and) has thoroughly disrupted the mass market. Now the big food companies are realizing they need a new game plan to tackle the coffee-out phenomenon.

“So the big bet now is gadgetry. The food companies are teaming up with appliance makers to take the biggest step forward since Mr. Coffee replaced the percolator. The newest entry about to hit stores, Kraft's Tassimo, aims to create some of the café mojo on kitchen countertops that people seek at the corner shop.”
KC's View:
We bring this story to your attention because it suggests how “the Starbucks effect” and other cultural shifts can have an effect on other, seemingly unrelated businesses. It strikes us that this is one of the best ways to identify opportunities – by looking not just for change, but for the implications of change.