More tolerant of rise in coffee prices than gas prices?

One fuels your body and the other your car.

But while the increase in the price of coffee has outstripped the hike in gas prices, consumers seem more tolerant of the former, Associated Press reports.

Unlike many other discretionary items, coffee usually emerges from a recession relatively unscathed, economists told AP. That’s because when money is tight, people may buy cheaper brands of coffee, but they won’t give it up completely.

Consumers won’t give up gas either, but we fume as we fill up our tanks to $40 or $50 or $60. And we look for ways to cut the cost — sometimes by combining or foregoing trips and sometimes by searching for the cheapest gas available.

I certainly get a lot more upset about rising gas prices than I do about coffee, which I would never give up in the morning.

How about you?

Are there price increases of other items that you also take in stride?

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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24 comments Add your comment

The Dogfighter Returns

May 25th, 2011
7:23 am

uh henry, oxygen fuels your body not coffee. :)


May 25th, 2011
7:32 am

Certainly I am in similar shoes. Gas is definitely more covered in the news. It is also rather blatant the way the large investment houses like Morgan Stanley or Goldman simply manipulate markets to increase their profits at our direct cost. They over invested in oil and were afraid of getting stung so they upped their outlook knowing the rest of the US had no choice but to pay. Don’t know if that is collusion, blackmail or racketeering, but I know it’s painful.

Coffee? Well, let us see how coffee bean prices handle the stress of press coverage. Certainly I use coffee to deal with the other! I can’t give up either, just like so many. Problem is it will not get the press coverage.


May 25th, 2011
8:14 am

Don’t we assume that when the cost of gas goes up, items that need to be moved by vehicles that require gas will go up as well? And the further it has to travel to get to us, the more that increase is likely to be? The reason I get frustrated when gas goes up is that I know it will make almost every single thing I consume more expensive.

Bill Todd

May 25th, 2011
8:20 am

Check out the unit cost of bottled water.

Buzz G

May 25th, 2011
9:14 am

And Obama keeps telling us there is no inflation. He goes by the old adage “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” Sadly, the mainstream press is so biased that they will not tell the truth.


May 25th, 2011
9:26 am

We don’t buy gas a cup at a time. Don’t drink the bitter stuff myself. Gives me a headache.


May 25th, 2011
10:58 am

When gas prices go up, so do consumerables. When the gas prices drop, the consumerables DO NOT drop. They stay up….

However, I read yesterday that Georgia Power actually CUT costs. The average monthly savings is a whopping 64 CENTS a MONTH………thanks GP…..Now I can get…..NOTHING with that 64 cents….


May 25th, 2011
12:06 pm

RIP Mark Haines from cnbc, who passed away today at 65.

Having cnbc on in the background all day every day, I really grew to like you and Erin and you were one of the best anchors at calling BS on inflated analysts and ego’s.


May 25th, 2011
2:44 pm

Life would be intolerable without coffee. I guess I’m addicted ’cause I’d pay almost anything for it, whereas there’s a limit to what I’ll pay for gas. Using coupons for coffee @ the grocery helps.

P.S. Second the sentiment re. Mark Haines, he was a class act and I’ll miss him.


May 25th, 2011
3:32 pm



May 25th, 2011
4:36 pm

The biggest problem facing our nation are these Oil Speculators and the Oil Companies.

We need to take over or annex the Oil Companies because they represent a ‘clear and present danger to our national interests’.



May 25th, 2011
7:37 pm

I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff,


May 25th, 2011
8:10 pm

Tried coffee once and almost puked. I certainly don’t get it. If it is an acquired taste why in the heck would you want to? Is it like getting used to paper mill smell?


May 25th, 2011
8:14 pm

I have options with coffee. I could choose to downgrade to the store brands, I could stop drinking, or I could do most of my coffee drinking at the office. I control my coffee consumption. Gasoline is almost a fixed price and most of my driving is not optional.


May 25th, 2011
8:16 pm


Comparing coffee to a paper mill is almost as silly as comparing coffee to gasoline.


May 25th, 2011
8:24 pm

I will worry about coffee prices when it takes me 20 gallons to fill up.

coffee prices

May 25th, 2011
8:40 pm

Coffee is way too expensive. I’ll stick with water.


May 25th, 2011
8:55 pm

If I could brew my own gas at home, I wouldn’t be complaining about the gas prices.


May 25th, 2011
9:00 pm

If we paid for gas on a daily-use basis, and paid for coffee (or tea, in my case) in a lump sum every week or so, then the situation would be reversed.

It’s the same reason people complain more about property taxes than sales taxes.


May 25th, 2011
9:02 pm

Jeff, for what it is worth I wasn’t comparing coffee to a paper mill. I was commenting on the fact that people who live anywhere near a paper mill always claim you get used to the smell and I think getting used to the taste of coffee must be the same concept. To each their own, my personal opinion. I personally think that gasoline smells a lot more appetizing than coffee or paper mill.


May 26th, 2011
12:40 am

Coffee today costs almost exactly the same as it did in 1977. Gasoline, on the other hand, was $0.62 a gallon. There’s no comparison.


May 26th, 2011
3:55 am

Stupid article…of course people are going to be more affected by gas than coffee…we use a heck of a lot more gas than coffee…Associated Press must not have had anything better to report that day…


May 26th, 2011
4:49 am

Some things are inflating, others deflating. Hence, it’s nearly a wash.

Brad Steel

May 26th, 2011
9:40 am

Silly question.

There are myriad substitutes for drinking coffee. Any substitutes for fueling gas-engine cars? None. Any substitutes for personal transportation in Atlanta (those that don’t really suck)? No.