Another hurdle for Starbucks: More people make coffee at home

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Starbucks (SBUX) hopes to bring in more customers by offering less expensive coffee as it tries to replace its eroding base of retail traffic The coffee chain is even offering breakfast "value meal" to attract consumers.

Those efforts may not be enough to offset the significant trend of more people making their coffee at home, probably to save money during the recession. A new National Coffee Association look at the recent activity of coffee drinkers shows a big swing in behavior. According to Reuters, of the people who said they had drunk coffee the previous day, 83 percent said they had made it at home -- up five points compared with year-ago figures.

The five percent may not seem like a great deal, but if 50 million Americans drink coffee every day, the movement toward drinking home brew is another mountain Starbucks has to climb in its effort to improve earnings and sales.

The recession may be changing consumer behavior so radically that Starbucks can't keep up.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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