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Global coffee consumption figures
Below we have compiled the most interesting facts and figures about the global coffee industry.
How much coffee is drunk in the world?
Coffee is the second most consumed beverage after water and the amount continues to increase. The largest increase in coffee consumption in recent decades has been observed in Japan, where consumption per citizen increased by 30% between 1990 and 2010.
Consumption of cups of coffee per year
Every day 3 billion cups of coffee are drunk worldwide. According to the International Coffee Organization (ICO), this was estimated to be worth $200 billion in 2020 sales. In fact, the coffee market has grown 190% since 1964.
How many bags of coffee are drunk around the world in a year?
An estimated 168 million bags of coffee were consumed in 2020/21. An increase that has continued since 1964 when demand was 58 million bags of coffee. The sack of coffee, at least in Colombia, weighs 60-70 kilograms. All of these coffee industry measurements have been recorded since 1964, since the ICO was formed the year before.
Beyond espresso: new ways of drinking coffee
The coffee industry regularly introduces new innovative methods of coffee preparation and dispensing. Coffee pods are a relatively recent innovation that offer a quick and hassle-free method of making coffee for a single person. Keurig Green Mountain is the leading provider of coffee capsules and coffee pods in the United States.
Cold brew coffee has become a popular item in coffee shops, but it’s also easy to make at home. The cold brew coffee market was valued at US$321 million in 2017 and is expected to reach a market value of US$1.37 billion by 2023.
Which countries consume the most coffee?
The table below lists the top 9 countries where coffee is consumed. The data is based on the annual count of the ICO for 2021, but follows the usual trend of the last ten years.
Position / Country / Kilo / Coffee consumption per person per year
1 Finland 11.6 kg
2 Norway 10 kg
3 Iceland 8.9 kg
4 Denmark 8.7 kg
5 Netherlands 8.4 kg
6 Swedes 8.2 kg
7 Switzerland 8 kg
8 Austria 7.2 kg
9 Belgium 6.9 kg
The Nordic countries lead the ranking, as the European Union not only feels the need to drink hot drinks due to the low temperatures throughout the year, but is also the largest coffee importer in the world.
Surprisingly, countries like Italy and the United States, which are the top coffee sellers, are not among the top 20 consumers.
And which countries consume the least coffee?
At the other extreme are countries that don’t have a coffee tradition. This is because they traditionally drink other native teas and the coffee industry has failed to pique people’s interest.
These countries are Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kenya, Azerbaijan, China and Nigeria. None of these countries consumes more than 0.010 kg per person.
Statistics on Coffee shops in the World (Franchises and Retailers)
When we talk about coffee and its consumption, we cannot ignore the big franchises. You expand to sell it in as many countries as possible and thereby manage to capitalize on the business and make great economic profits every year.
Starbucks revenue reached $24.61 billion in 2021, up from $19.61 billion in the prior year.
Over the past 10 years, Starbucks has expanded exponentially, with the company now doing more business outside of its home country.
In 2021, the number of Starbucks stores worldwide will surpass 33,000. This number also includes other franchise brands such as Siren Retail and Teavana. Countries the company has expanded into include Germany, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.
The chain has seen steady sales growth over the past decade, except for a dip in 2020 due to quarantine measures related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Canadian coffee shop franchise is part of Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of fast food chains Burger King and Popeyes.
Tim Horton’s had sales of $2.81 billion in 2021. Despite having just 5,000 stores, the company has doubled the sales of its sister company, Burger King, which brought in $1.7 billion.
The Italian company Luigi Lavazza had a turnover of 1.52 billion euros in 2020, an increase compared to 2019, when sales were 1.51 billion euros.
The merit of this company lies in the fact that, unlike the previous two, it does not incorporate expansion of the outlets for its coffee into its business model, but achieves similar numbers to Tim Horton’s mainly by exporting its coffees.
Global coffee production figures
After petroleum, coffee beans are the most traded commodity on the world market.
This trade is indicative of the effects of globalization, as coffee production occurs exclusively in countries in the southern hemisphere, but processing and marketing is largely dominated by countries in the northern hemisphere.
About 50% of the world coffee production is produced in Latin America, so it is also the main source of income for some countries. For example, it accounts for 25% of Guatemala’s gross domestic product (GDP), more than 10% of Brazil’s GDP and nearly 50% of Ethiopia’s GDP.
More than 25 million farmers worldwide are involved in this large chain, which grow coffee in more than 50 countries of the tropical belt, i.e. in the countries above the equator.
About 100 million people are indirectly dependent on the coffee industry. In addition, 70% of the farms are in the hands of smallholders who own less than 10 hectares.
In the last decade, coffee production reached over 150 million bags of coffee per year (each bag equals 60 kg). The increasing demand peaked in 2021, when more than 175 million bags of coffee were produced. In 2020, global coffee consumption fell to an estimated 165 million bags.
The largest coffee producers in the world
Almost half of the world’s coffee production is produced in South America. In 2020, 88 million bags were filled in this region.
That year, Brazil produced the largest amount of coffee sacks in the world.
The table below shows which countries produce the most coffee worldwide in 2020, considering ICO data.
Position Country Coffee production in millions of 60 kg bags
1 Brazil 63,400
2 Viet Nam 29,000
3 Colombia 14,300
4 Indonesia 11,950
5 Ethiopia 7,375
6 Honduras 6,100
7 India 5,700
8 Uganda 5,600
9 Mexico 4,000
10 Guatemala 3,800
Although Brazil remained the world’s leading coffee producer, well ahead of its main competitors (Vietnam and Colombia), the United States was the country that generated the most revenue in this industry.
The United States measures its production in tons. In 2020, they produced 1,955 tons, not counting as a producer country, while Colombia produces more than 80,000 tons.
The North American country generated around $81 billion while Brazil, which ranked second in terms of revenue, generated $38 billion.
World production of Arabica coffee
In 2021, world production of Arabica coffee was 102.1 million bags.
This type of coffee is generally sold at a higher price than Robusta because of its quality. However, the production costs are much higher. This is because it has more stringent requirements for climatic conditions, crop management, primary processing and control of various pests and diseases, including coffee rust and berry blight, which are potentially very harmful.
Recent challenges for Arabica cultivation include increasing problems with pests and the increasingly negative impact of climate change on Arabica coffee production worldwide.
Global production of Robusta coffee
Arabica ‘s darker cousin, Robusta, is another variety of coffee bean that is smaller, stronger in flavor, and generally easier to grow. In 2020, 70 million bags of Robusta coffee were produced worldwide.
This type of coffee is more heat tolerant and “hardy” and is therefore considered to be more resilient to climate change than other types of coffee production. However, Robusta ‘s optimum production range has never been quantified and current estimates of the optimum annual mean temperature range (22-30°C) are based solely on the climatic conditions of its native range in the Congo Basin of Central Africa.
A study suggests that Robusta coffee is much more sensitive to temperature than previously thought. Its reasonable production scale is probably overestimated.
Robusta supplies 30-40% of the world’s coffee, but its production potential could decline significantly as temperatures rise due to climate change, threatening the multi-billion dollar coffee industry and the livelihoods of millions of farmers.
How much money is involved in the coffee industry?
More than $60 billion has been invested in the industry in the last 10 years alone. In 2012, the German JAB Holding Company was formed and bought Peet’s Coffee, a US specialty coffee roaster, for USD 974 million.
Other large trading companies such as Nestlé, Lavazza and Coca Cola then entered the industry. These trading strategies of large companies suggest that the coffee industry still has further growth potential.
Coffee occupies an important place in economic indicators and it is always mentioned whether its price has decreased or increased. For example, on March 31, 2022, the price was $1.95 per pound, while the next day it was $1.98.
Those of us who stay out of the coffee industry and just consume coffee might not understand why our latte or espresso still costs the same when the price of coffee goes up or down.
The prices reflected in the indicators are due to several factors.
As we know, Brazil is the most important supply source for the world. Recently, Brazil has been hit by lower-than-expected temperatures, droughts and even some frosts, which have affected harvests and coffee production.
- On the other hand, Ethiopia, Africa’s most important producing country, is in the midst of a civil war which, when it flares up again, is affecting the coffee harvest.
- In the case of Colombia, blockades due to social protests and high input prices can cause coffee prices to fluctuate.
But even if these factors occur simultaneously, the espresso price will not change that much. This is because the daily change in the price of coffee in world markets accounts for only a small part of the change in the price of espresso.
According to one of the Financial Times and Allegra Strategies in the UK in 2019, the change in the cost of coffee in global markets typically accounts for just 4% of the cost of a typical cup.
Assuming an espresso costs 5,000 Colombian pesos and the change between March 31 and April 1, 2022 is 3 US cents, the change from 5,000 pesos would be only 4 pesos. This is not enough to change prices.
This data is from 2019 and is for the UK only. However, they give a good idea of how complicated the coffee supply chain is, even if they are only approximately correct.
The roaster typically bears most of the cost of the actual coffee, while exporters, transporters and processors take their share, leaving the actual grower only paying 10% of the cost of the coffee. For example, a sack of Colombian coffee costs about $20 in the United States, but the farmer sells it for about $2.
The environmental impact of the coffee industry in figures
Before coffee gets into our hands as a drink, it has to be planted, grown, cultivated, harvested and finally processed and transported. This entire process depends on the environment and affects it in different ways.
However, as we can see from the statistics, the coffee market is growing and some farmers and companies trying to keep up with the growing demand have adopted destructive practices that can harm both the coffee plants and the ecosystem.
Until a few decades ago, most coffee was produced in the shade, i.e. under the canopy of trees and among other plant species. In recent decades, however, large areas have been cleared in the plantations to maximize the sun’s rays on the coffee trees. A coffee growing system under the sun increases the efficiency of the factors of production, both environmental, genetic and coffee tree management. In other words: an ideal environment for rapid growth.
In addition, coffee plantations require an enormous amount of water to function. A normal cup of coffee requires 140 liters of water, most of which is used to grow the coffee plant and another part for processing and transport.
There is a carbon footprint at all stages of the coffee production chain, with some stages producing more emissions than others.
68% of climate impact occurs in growing and processing, while preparation accounts for 11% and transport, roasting and packaging for less than 4%. During production, the main impacts are due to fertilizers, pesticides, fuel and the use of lime.
That’s why organizations around the world have developed seals, which consumers can see on coffee packaging, that certify the use of production methods that promote plant diversity, waste and water management, and minimal use of chemicals.
The way coffee is brewed also has an impact on the environment
The environmental impact of coffee consumption also depends on how it is prepared.
In addition to the preparation method, it is the machine or tool that we use. The most important factors are the differences in the energy consumption of the respective technologies. In addition, the different coffee packaging plays a crucial role.
A 2011 study used three main categories, or factors, to classify and rate some coffee makers. The energy consumption, the waste produced, the materials used in production and the service life of the individual devices were taken into account.
The French Press and the Drip Filter Machine are the most powerful with 20 and 10 years of use respectively and do not require electricity.
In contrast, the environmental impacts were highest for the fully automatic coffee maker and the capsule machine. The reason for this was the high-energy consumption, especially when the machines were in standby and idle mode.
In addition, capsule coffee machines contribute to the environmental impact because the aluminum or plastic capsule packaging becomes waste, and fully automatic coffee machines because of the additional water required for their cleaning and rinsing cycles.
Effects of Covid-19 on the coffee industry
As the Covid-19 pandemic spread from Wuhan, China to the whole world in the 2020s, countries took measures to prevent the rapid spread of the disease and save as many lives as possible.
However, these measures have had a significant negative impact on the global economy and the coffee industry. According to the ICO, coffee-producing countries have experienced negative effects because they were unaware of what would happen in the first few months of the pandemic.
The negative impact has been reflected in job losses, falling incomes, exports and domestic consumption. The pandemic also increased the pressure on coffee farmers due to high input costs. In other words: less income and more expenses.
In addition, the intermediate steps in the coffee production and distribution chain were fragmented due to social distance and confinement. This had a negative impact on internal logistics and export infrastructure.
For their part, many countries have taken action to support their coffee sector, which needs financial help to avoid bankruptcy and alleviate the effects of labor shortages.
This support was important considering that according to an ICO survey in 16 exporting countries, almost half of sales contracts were canceled or changed.
At the time, the ICO recommended, “closely monitoring the long-term impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the coffee sector and swiftly mobilizing national, regional and international support and resources”.
The greatest impact of the pandemic has been felt in stores, which are the final link in the coffee chain before it reaches consumers. The lack of customers in stores did not offset the costs, some were able to adjust while others closed and could not reopen.
Now, in the first months of 2022, when vaccinations are positive worldwide and the number of Covid 19 infections is declining, a war has developed between two European countries. We should not forget that the European Union is the main importer of coffee.
The Russo-Ukrainian War and its Impact on the Coffee Industry
The military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, which has been ongoing since February 24, 2022, caused coffee prices on the New York and London stock exchanges to fall by 3.1%. This was the sharpest drop since July 30, 2021, when the drop was 6.9%.
In 2020, Russia and Ukraine consumed 6.26 million bags of coffee, which is 3.8% of world consumption.
On the other hand, Russia supplies 20% of the world’s ammonia needs in maritime transport. This would lead to an increase in fertilizer costs, which would ultimately affect coffee farmers in the world and push up the price of coffee.
According to the ICO, coffee exporters are already struggling with logistical problems. This is the case for several containers of Honduran coffee that have been dumped in international waters.
However, it may be too early to assess the conflict and its long-term impact on the world coffee market.
The future of the coffee industry
With a market size estimated at US$6.8 billion in 2018, coffee is expected to reach US$12.6 billion by 2026.
Arabica coffee, which accounts for 60-70% of world coffee production (vs. 30-40% for Robusta), is expected to dominate the market share.
The biggest challenge for the future of coffee is the pursuit of sustainability with a focus on social, environmental and economic aspects. In this way, the profitability of the coffee producers, who are essentially small families, improves and they can reinvest in the production of more coffee with an environmentally sustainable approach.
The increase in demand is expected due to the growth of markets such as the Asian market and the continuation of the upward trend that has characterized the industry.
It is predicted that if the coffee sector continues to grow, it will need 300 million bags of coffee by 2050, twice the current annual world production. The current production system is unlikely to be able to meet demand in the coming decades.