In recent years the cappuccino has become very popular in the US. Of course it has been popular in much of the rest of the world for a lot longer than that. Nevertheless the rapid growth in the popularity of cappuccino in the US does raise the question of just why have they become so popular? The answer probably won’t come as a surprise to most Americans; it is largely the result of a massive marketing campaign.
The main reason that cappuccino is so popular, at least in the US is that it has been heavily marketed specifically to make it so. They have long been popular in Europe, particularly in Italy where they were normally drunk as part of breakfast. However they never really caught on in North America until coffee shops similar to those in Europe started to appear. The owners of these shops quickly realized that if they were going to be successful they would need to serve beverages that were similar to those being sold in Europe. Therefore they went on a major campaign to encourage people to start drinking cappuccino.
Cafes have long been popular in Europe precisely because drinks like cappuccinos and espresso were so popular. The early machines were huge and very expensive so the only way that you could get one was at a café. These cafes soon became an important part of people’s social lives, they would spend quite a bit of time there every day drinking cappuccinos and sharing news and other items of interest with the other people in the shop. Soon the café became a central part of people’s daily lives.
This trend never really caught on in the US in large part because very few people drank cappuccino or other fancy beverages. However starting the eighties a number of entrepreneur decided that they could bring that kind of shop to the US, it didn’t work. As they assessed why these coffee shops didn’t work they came to the realization that it was because people were coming, ordering a coffee and leaving. If they were going to have the same kind of success as existed in Europe they would need to get people to stay and socialize. This required that they have drinks that took longer to consume than a cup of coffee. It would also really help if they could sell higher priced beverages.
As a result of the need to get people to order drinks like cappuccino if a coffee shop was going to be successful the owners of the early shops made a concerted effort to promote them. Of course it helped that once people tried cappuccino they generally liked them. As a result these beverages have become enormously popular and you can now find a coffee shop on pretty much every corner in the United States that sells them.