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Buencafé Director Constanza Mejía predicts consumption growth in 2020

From the January 2020 issue.

GCR petitions industry leaders on the year ahead: the opportunities, challenges, and trends set to change the game and demand our attention in 2020.

Constanza Mejía
Director, Buencafé

According to our estimates and research, in 2020 global coffee consumption will continue growing at steady rates.

I believe that beyond supply and demand fluctuations, we must understand new consumption patterns and trends. This includes higher consumer expectations, the search for “authentic and different” products, and the desire to create experiences with which consumers can express their individuality. In order to meet such demands, many companies are looking to expand their product portfolio from instant coffee to whole beans, and ground coffee and capsules to ready-to-drink cans.

In Colombia, this translates to an increased demand for high-quality products. As such, the industry has begun to incorporate origin coffees and premium brands into its portfolio.

We also have to take into account that the future demand for coffee – despite the global trend towards premiumisation – is linked to specific conditions. In high-income countries, there is a shift towards better quality processes. In regions where the population tends to increase, growth of affordable formats is expected, and countries where tea has traditionally been consumed show an increase in coffee consumption.

I think it is important to plan ahead and apply global strategies to encourage growth of the coffee industry and consumption. Market surveys with local consumers must be conducted to ensure supply can meet each region’s needs and taste preferences.

We have also seen a growing number of young consumers spend their money in specialty coffee shops if the product is part of “an experience”. This includes when the product features unconventional images or shapes, or because of a combination of exotic flavours. Young people no longer drink “only” black coffee and at breakfast. It is part of their morning or afternoon in cold, milky, or bubble brews, among others. Consumption moments are changing.

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