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The trickle down of the barista economy

From the April 2016 issue.

A shift towards spending on services in developed economies is driving development in the coffee industry.

A barista
It has become economic shorthand for the shift of developed nations towards a more service-based economy, but the term “barista economy”, and the trend it represents, could tell us more about the future of coffee than it was ever intended to.

The barista economy phenomenon is particularly prevalent in wealthier nations such as Australia, where high levels of disposable income combined with a relatively low average cost of basic goods has led to a boom in spending on high-end services – of which specialty coffee is a prime example.

Senior Investment Analyst at Colonial First State Global Asset Management in Sydney, James White, has been a keen observer of this trend and its effect on the Australian economy.

“The average dollar that Australians are spending is now much more likely to be spent on services, whether that’s on travel or on going to a café and getting an extra coffee. That is really important from a macro perspective, because services are much more labour intensive, which is obviously good for employment,” White tells GCR Mag.

This growth in the services sector is not only creating more jobs, it is also creating whole new career paths that never before existed.

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