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Are SA's coffee consumers becoming connoisseurs?

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For most people, drinking coffee is part of a daily ritual based on their need and mood: a caffeine kick to wake up in the morning, an on-the-go pick-me-up, or to connect with friends and colleagues at a favourite café.

 Globally, consumers are becoming more discerning about their coffee, selecting their perfect cup based on quality, source of coffee beans, sustainability and the roasting process. Are we seeing a similar trend among South African consumers?
Insight Survey’s latest SA Coffee Landscape Report 2018 carefully unfolds the global and local coffee markets based on the latest information and research. It examines the market drivers and restraints as well as global and local market trends to present an objective insight into the South African coffee industry environment, market dynamics and its future. 

Worldwide, the production of coffee had only increased marginally in the last year. For 2016/17, global production reached 157.7 million 60kg bags of coffee compared to 157.6 million 60kg bags in the previous year. Globally, the coffee market is valued at an estimated US$105 billion and is projected to grow at a robust rate of 5.5% per annum up to 2021. 

The four key global markets for coffee consumption include the European Union, USA, Brazil, and Japan. In terms of consumption, the European Union is still responsible for the highest consumption of coffee worldwide with 42.2 million 60kg bags of coffee in 2016/2017.

Source: ; . Graphics by Insight Survey
Source: Coffee MarketCoffee Federation. Graphics by Insight Survey

After years of strong growth, there was a slight decline in South African coffee consumption in the past year (in 2016/17 550,000 60kg bags were consumed compared with 557,000 60kg bags in 2015/2016). However, more interestingly, there has been a similar trend towards South African consumers being more discerning in terms of the coffee they consume.

According to Dylan Cumming, managing director of Beaver Creek, there is growing demand for high-end specialty coffee in South Africa. Cumming is of the opinion that consumers want a coffee that is distinct in its character, and they want to know where the coffee is grown. The demand for premium and specialty coffees is clearly increasing in South Africa as consumers’ interest in Nespresso and other capsule and pod-based coffee offerings continue to grow. Specialty coffee preparation methods, such as Aero press are also attracting the attention of many consumers. 

Furthermore, the majority of consumers’ interest has moved beyond simply just drinking coffee. Many consumers want to have a coffee experience. Ryler Masterton, from Masterton’s Coffee and Tea Specialists, says that South African consumers want to know more about coffee, experience greater varieties, and enjoy different experiences. 

Younger consumers are increasingly more interested in coffee as well. Rising affluence and changing consumer tastes have increased the demand for high quality and specialty products, such as flavoured coffee, amongst this group. Millenials are also more likely than other consumers to experiment with new drink types, brands, and flavours. 

Most consumers foster their coffee dependency every single day. As the demand for premium coffee continues to increase in South Africa, it is important for manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers to ensure they keep track of both industry developments and changes in consumers’ needs and preferences.

The South African Coffee Industry Landscape Report 2018 (128 pages) provides a dynamic synthesis of industry research, examining the local and global Coffee industry from a uniquely holistic perspective, with detailed insights into the entire value chain – from manufacturing and importing to retailing, sustainability, pricing analysis, consumption and purchasing trends. 

Some key questions the report will help you to answer:
  • What are the market dynamics (production, consumption, pricing) of the global coffee industry? 
  • What are the latest South African coffee industry trends, drivers, and restraints? 
  • What are the value and volume trends in the SA coffee market (2012-2017); forecasts (2018-2022)? 
  • Who are the key manufacturing players and importers/roasters in the SA coffee industry? 
  • What are the prices of coffee (ground, capsule, instant) at SA coffee outlets and supermarkets?
Please note that the 128-page report is available for purchase for R25,000 (excluding VAT). Alternatively, individual sections can be purchased for R9,000 (excluding VAT). For additional information simply contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or directly on (0)21 045-0202. 

For a full brochure please go to: South African Coffee Landscape Report 2018
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