Imagine for a moment that coffee is being rationed. It’s not always available in stores, or in coffee shops. How would you cope?
This is exactly the situation that faced millions of Americans during World War II, the U.S. Census Bureau reminds us.
The home front during World War II had to cope with some irritating impositions, notably gas rationing and a lack of new cars and tires. But what for many was a real crisis, was coffee rationing.
Decreed in 1942 because of hoarding and supply concerns, it proved very unpopular. President Roosevelt ended the rationing on this date in 1943 because imports had rebounded.
Coffee consumption overtook tea after the American Revolution and peaked in 1946 at over 46 gallons per capita annually.
Now, Americans drink something over 20 gallons of various coffee preparations per year, some portion of that from the nation’s 19,000 coffee shops.
Coffee sales at the wholesale level are over $18 billion per year.