When you think of grabbing a quick cup of caffeine, you might imagine the drive-thru window of a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. But did you know that these coffee giants have not yet reached the popularity of pre-packaged, cost-effective coffee brands, such as Folgers, Maxwell House and Green Mountain Coffee?
While the brewing brand has seen its fair share of criticism over its decades of coffee market domination, Folgers shows no signs of slipping from the top spot.
Folgers’ continued stronghold on the coffee market raises the question: is Folgers coffee good to drink, or does Folgers’ success come from masterful marketing instead of fantastic flavor?
Folgers Coffee Review — How Coffee Beans Affect Coffee Taste
The majority of true coffee connoisseurs would answer the question “Is Folgers coffee good?” with a resounding “no.”
If you are looking for the highest quality coffee beans to provide an excellent flavor profile, you would be better off purchasing specialty coffee beans from a small-batch local roaster.
Conversely, if you are searching for a good price on a drinkable cup of coffee, Folgers has the dark roast blend to get your morning going.
To keep its coffee prices low in your local grocery store, Folgers uses a blend of robusta beans and arabica beans for its pre-ground coffee packets and K-Cups.
These beans come from all over the world, including coffee farms in the Caribbean, North America, Africa, Oceania, Asia, and Central America.
While arabica beans taste infinitely better than bitter robusta beans, arabica beans are more expensive. Arabica beans also contain less caffeine than robusta beans, so they are often used together in a blend to increase your buzz and decrease the price.
However, as the adage goes, you get what you pay for when it comes to cheap coffee. Some coffee taste testers claim that robusta beans have flavor notes of rotten fruit, sulfur, and salted meat.
Fresh Coffee vs Pre-ground Coffee
Whether you have a blend of arabica and robusta or 100% arabica beans, fresh coffee always tastes better than stale coffee.
Unfortunately, the pre-packaged Folgers coffee in your grocery store almost always tastes stale due to the length of time that passes from when the coffee beans are ground, packaged, sold, and finally poured into your cup.
To enjoy high-quality coffee, you need to invest in top-quality beans and devices, such as a burr grinder, a coffee maker for pour-overs, or a French press.
Marketing Masterminds — From Marital Dissatisfaction to Catchy Jingles
If the answer to the question “Is Folgers coffee good?” is “no”, then why is Folgers present in the pantry of almost every average American household?
If you heard the jingle “The best part of waking up…,” could you finish the phrase?
Masterful marketing separates Folgers from other brands, such as Starbucks and Maxwell House. Folgers’ marketing tactics began when radio and print were the only ad mediums and smoothly transitioned into television commercial marketing in the 1950s.
If you watch some of Folgers’ older ads, you’ll notice their marketing team using fear-based marketing strategies. For example, many 1950s Folgers ads featured a housewife who continually purchases bitter coffee that her husband despises.
Frequently, the husband in the commercials openly chastises the housewife and berates her for not knowing how to make a great cup of coffee.
In the end, the housewife receives a helpful hint from a grocery store clerk about purchasing Folgers coffee. The husband is satisfied with the new flavor and drinks his coffee down to the last drop while his wife smiles pleasantly.
This fear-based marketing spiraled into a keeping up with the Joneses effect, and soon Folgers coffee was the staple purchase for every American housewife.
Through the generations, Folgers coffee continued to be the coffee brand of choice for American homemakers, and now the brand enjoys the nostalgia effect with modern buyers still reaching for a cup of Folgers classic roast over any other coffee brand.
You are probably familiar with the highly successful Folgers coffee commercial jingle: “The best part of waking up, is Folgers in your cup.”
Typically, during the holiday season, you’ll hear the jingle playing as grown-up brothers and sisters reunite at their aging parents’ home on a happy Christmas morning.
The Folgers brand successfully tapped into the nostalgia effect and made the switch to this emotional marketing ploy by:
- Knowing its target market. Statistically, women continue to be the dominant decision-makers when it comes to purchasing pre-ground blends for the home and work environments.
Folgers utilizes this information by employing emotional manipulation. The commercials sell consumers the idea that Folgers brew coffee will bring the family together again over the holidays.
- Keeping its products budget-friendly.
Folgers’ Christmas commercials play into the subconscious idea that you need to be able to afford two things to have a great time reconnecting with your family: a ton of presents and a full cup of Folgers coffee.
To afford the mountain of presents, you will need to cut costs in other areas. Thankfully, Folgers coffee is one of the most budget-friendly brands available.
Folgers does not try to compete by making the best coffee on the market, but the company does earnestly undercut the competition when it comes to pricing.
- Aiming for brand loyalty. Similar to how Band-Aid made its products synonymous with bandages in the modern lexicon, Folgers strives to make itself synonymous with coffee. Thus, the best part of waking up is not coffee in your cup; it’s Folgers.
So far, it seems that Folgers has successfully blended the company itself with the aromas and emotions that accompany enjoying a caffeinated drink.
Folgers coffee is so intertwined with the warm recollections of your family cuddled together on Christmas morning that you feel those positive emotions again whenever you smell its aroma.
Because of the emotions and memories it brews, Folgers becomes the best coffee choice for the consumer. Subsequently, consumers purchase Folgers’ blends again and again, no matter the quality of the beans or the flavor of the coffees.
Is Folgers Coffee Good? A Criticism of Folgers’ Company Practices
While some may argue about whether Folgers coffee is good to drink, is it good coffee in terms of sustainability?
Most of the coffee world is now committed to going green and promoting sustainability. For example, Starbucks is fair trade certified, employs a green supply chain, and continues to incentivize bringing your own cup to cut down on plastic usage.
While Folgers states that it is a company concerned with ethical working conditions and sustainability, it does not have any certifications to back its claims, nor does it abide by sustainability regulations or fair trade agreements.
Additionally, despite boasting that Folgers coffees are from the best growing high-altitude locations in the world, Folgers’ supply chain is not herbicide, fungicide, or pesticide-free.
Is Folgers Coffee Bad for You?
A Black Silk brew can improve your mental faculties for a time and even strengthen your immune system, but ultimately Folgers’ pre-packaged instant coffees carry fewer nutrients than a fresh brew. Instant coffee packages also feature more chemical additives.
You should be grinding and brewing fresh beans to reap your coffee’s maximum health benefits. Other health benefits of brewing coffee include lowering your risk of developing depression. Coffee has the greatest positive effect on the brain compared to other stimulants, such as tea.
However, it’s good to remember that coffee can become addicting even though it is not considered a truly addictive substance. Thus, it’s best to enjoy your brew in moderation.
Why is Folgers Coffee So Bad?
To put things simply, coffee beans all over the world have progressed and improved over the years. There are new coffees coming out every day. Instead of trying to evolve and keep up with the competition, Folgers has settled in as a cheap cup of joe for the boomer generation. Folgers has opted for keeping their coffee as an affordable option instead of trying to become the best coffee in the world and battle the prominent big brands.
Folgers Classic Roast vs High-Quality Coffee
From its humble beginnings in San Francisco to its rise to the top of the coffee industry, Folgers’ classic roast has beaten out the rest of its competition through clever marketing, brand loyalty, and low pricing strategies.
While coffee connoisseurs might decry Folgers for its low-quality beans and lackluster flavor, America continues to pour itself a Folgers brew each morning.
Classism and Coffee
Why do only coffee enthusiasts care about coffee companies’ working conditions and sustainable practices? Why does the rest of America continually choose a poor-quality blend over the scrumptious aroma of ethical coffee?
The truth of the matter is that the public struggling to wake up for a night shift just to put food on the table does not have the time or resources to worry about if their coffee beans had pesticides sprayed on them or not.
In 2020 alone, more than half of the American public was living paycheck to paycheck. Most Americans simply crave more caffeine to get them through the day and do not have the time to wait for a coarse grind to brew in a French press.
The question is not “Is Folgers coffee good quality?” but “Is it good enough?” The answer for the majority of America is yes. When it comes to affordable coffee, Folgers remains one of the top choices for most families.
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Where is Folgers Coffee Made?
Folgers coffee is made by the J.M. Smucker Company, which is headquartered in Orrville, Ohio. The company has coffee production facilities in North America, South America, and Europe. Folgers coffee is sold in grocery stores, mass merchandisers, club stores, and online retailers in the United States and Canada. The company also sells coffee through foodservice distributors and outlets.
What is the Strongest Folgers Coffee Made?
Folgers is a coffee brand that is known for its classic Roast. The company offers a variety of coffees, from light to dark roast, but the strongest Folgers coffee is the Black Silk Roast. This coffee is made with 100% Arabica beans that are roasted longer than other Folgers coffees, resulting in a bold flavor with hints of chocolate and caramel. The Black Silk Roast is also Folgers’ strongest coffee in terms of caffeine content, making it a good choice for those who need an extra boost of energy in the morning. Whether you’re looking for a classic cup of coffee or something with a little more kick, the Black Silk Roast from Folgers is sure to satisfy.
Why is Folgers Coffee So Bitter?
Coffee beans contain a number of compounds that can contribute to bitterness, including caffeine, quinic acid, and chlorogenic acid. Roasting coffee beans can also cause the formation of bitter-tasting compounds like pyrazines and thiophenes. Additionally, the brewing process can affect the level of bitterness in coffee.