TRADE: Emotional Ersatz

Some products sell particularly well in depressions: neckties—because they are a cheaper way of sprucing up than new suits of clothes; cans—because canned food is generally cheaper than fresh. From an announcement last week by the New York Coffee & Sugar Exchange, it appears that coffee may also belong in this special group. As it has in several depression years since 1929, U. S. coffee consumption last year set a new high. The 1938 figure was 14.38 lbs. per person, up 1.34 lb. since 1937.

There are other explanations—that Prohibition gave coffee drinking a big boost, that high-pressure advertising plus...

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