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Instant coffee consumption in emerging markets

From the March 2013 issue.

Demand for Robusta coffee continues to surge forward, fuelled by increased consumption of instant coffee in newer markets.

Instant Coffee Robusta demandIn the past decade, the instant coffee market has expanded at annual growth rates of 7 – 10 per cent. In most emerging markets, many industry officials put that growth at 15 – 20 per cent per year.

This level of growth – of an already established product – makes instant coffee by far one of the most lucrative segments in the industry. Especially when one considers the volume it represents. In the 2011-12 crop cycle, soluble coffee exports accounted for 12.7 million 60-kilogram bags of green coffee, more than 11 per cent of total world exports. Early forecasts for the 2012-13 cycle project that soluble exports will rise 5.6 per cent to 13.4 million bags, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The growth in demand for instant may come as a surprise for those seeing coffee capsules dominate Western at-home consumption. The jump can be explained by demand from populous producing countries that are choosing affordable instant as their first step into coffee consumption, as well as non-producing emerging markets such as Russia and Ukraine.

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