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Why Germany’s coffee market keeps growing

From the February 2015 issue.

When it comes to coffee, Germany leads almost every market segment, from roast and ground, to machinery and soluble, through to decaf and manufacturing. We take a look at the world’s second largest import coffee market.

If you were to pile up every bag of coffee a country bought in the last coffee year on record, Germany’s stack would do more than just shadow over its European peers.

At nearly 22 million 60-kilogram bags in the 2012-13 crop year, the country imported almost 20 per cent of total world imports. To put this figure into perspective, Italy, Europe’s second biggest importer and the continent’s darling of coffee, brought in 8.8 million bags, followed by France at 6.6 million.

In the last 2013-14 coffee year total German imports grew to around 22.5 million bags, and the number is pegged to rise to as much as 23 million bags in the new 2014-15 crop year, according to ICO and other industry figures. Even at these levels, the German coffee industry is expected to keep growing.

“We are in the very highest end of consumption when it comes to per capita consumption in Germany and the German coffee market is also the biggest market when it comes to being an exporter of processed coffee products,” Holger Preibisch, Secretary General of the Hamburg-based German Coffee Association, tells GCR Magazine.

“We have the knowledge of green coffee from hundreds of years of roasting experience, we have logistics centres at ports such as Bremen and Hamburg, and we have everything in between from the instant market to decaffeination technology. Germany is very much a coffee nation and coffee is the most important beverage in Germany. It even surpasses beer, which is no small feat,” laughs Preibisch. “Our latest figures show that per capita consumption of beer in Germany is 107 litres while water is 140 litres and coffee comes in number one with 165 litres. And the coffee industry is still increasing across all the market segments,“ he says.

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