Connoisseurship Consumption and Market Evolution: An Instituional Theory Perspective on the Growth of Specialty Coffee Consumption in the USA

Ronan Torres Quintão, Eliane Pereira Zamith Brito


Many scholars in the consumer culture field have attempted to understand how market evolves. Recently, marketing research has focused on the consumer-marketer relationship, considering peripheral consumers, and other marketplace actors who play important roles in consumption. However, little research in the marketing field has addressed the market dynamics in a context where consumers involved in connoisseurship practices take part in some aspect of institutional market change. Drawing from institutional theory, we develop answers to the question: how does the increasing prevalence of connoisseurship consumption affect the market? Inspired by the legitimacy concept, we evaluate the specialty coffee consumption context in order to advance and systematically analyze the role of connoisseurship consumption in the market. In extensive qualitative study, 542 newspaper articles from 1980 to 2013 were analyzed.  This research offers two main contributions to the existing literature. First, several types of cultural-cognitive legitimacy (including consumer generational, health concerns, and taste) began to shift in the 1980s, which increased the connoisseurship consumption and affected the market well into the 2000s. Second, connoisseurship consumption arises when marketplace actors intersect with the tastes and desires of consumers.


connoisseurship consumption, institucional theory, specialty coffee

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Direitos autorais 2019 Revista Brasileira de Marketing – Remark

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ISSN da versão online: 2177-5184