The purpose of this paper is to identify what type of changes, if any, have taken place, in the factors influencing coffee consumption among Costa Rican university students.
The study consisted of quantitative and qualitative phases. The quantitative data were collected through a written questionnaire distributed to a random sample of 370 students at a private university. The data were analyzed using Cronbach’s α, principal component/exploratory factor analysis and standardized ordinal logistic regression. Qualitative in-depth interviews with ten students were undertaken to verify the quantitative results.
Of the sample, 70 percent were females and 30 percent males. Of those interviewed, 70 percent drank coffee and 30 percent did not. In 64 percent of those who did not drink coffee, juice was the main substitute. The predictors of the coffee culture are: the country tradition, parents, general socialization with friends, home, workplace and restaurants. Tradition, parents and home were found to be the predictors of coffee culture for women; for men the predictors were the workplace and restaurants.
Coffee culture amongst university students is experiencing a transition, and the changes identified seem to be affected by the gender of the student and the change in the economic base of the country. The information will be valuable in marketing coffee to young people.
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