One More Cup of Coffee – Mundane Consumption of Everyday Consumer Goods
Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate how consumers relate to coffee, and what the consumption means to them. Existing research is demonstrating two contradictory perspectives of coffee as a mundane product. Due to the inconclusive research results this paper seeks to generate a more advanced understanding of how consumers relate to mundane coffee consumption as well as to understand its embedded meanings from a consumer’s perspective. Method: The study is qualitative in nature with a relativist and social constructionist view. The study uses semi-structured interviews with observations that were used as a complement to the interviews in order to capture how consumers relate to coffee and what embedded meanings there are within the consumers’ mundane coffee consumption. Theoretical Perspective: The theoretical lens that will be applied throughout the analysis in order to capture the embedded meanings of coffee consumption and how consumers relate to their everyday coffee consumption are Social identity, Social distinction, Rituals and Rhythms. Empirical Foundation: 13 semi-structured interviews and observations were conducted which will serve as the empirical material for the study. The informants of the study varied between age, gender and more specifically high and low users of coffee. The empirical material was analysed by using the Hermeneutic Circle in order to capture the embedded meanings of consumers’ coffee consumption and how they relate to their coffee. The analysis is divided into two main themes: Mundane Coffee Consumption as Identity Creation, and Mundane Consumption as a Way of structuring their Everyday Life. Conclusions: This study focused on investigating how everyday consumers are relating to coffee and what meanings that are embedded within their daily coffee consumption. Previous research shows two opposing perspectives. This study proves that these perspectives are neither correct nor wrong. This is made evident from the findings, which show that consumers are relating differently to coffee, and thus generate various functional and symbolical meanings depending on the consumers’ level of involvement to the coffee product. Furthermore, the different level of consumer involvement depends on several identified factors, such as; the contexts, rhythms, and product attributes.
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