HostMilano unveils report on global coffee trends and consumption

28/04/2022 – Beverages / Coffee Trends / HostMilano / Global Consumption / Report

HostMilano unveils report on global coffee trends and consumption

HostMilano’s recent analysis offers the global picture on coffee trends and consumption patterns. From Europe to Gen Z, the future of the most desired drink knows no borders, with the sector’s value expected to top €43 billion in 2025. 


Drawn up by the strategic marketing division of HostMilano, and taken from the Export Planning information system, the numbers of the coffee supply chain mark out 2021 as a record year. World trade in coffee-related products performed particularly well last year: +13.6 per cent in values in euros for espresso coffee machines, so a clear sign that things are recovering; +13.1 per cent for decaffeinated or roasted coffee, and +8.8 per cent for non-roasted coffee beans. The overall value of world trade in the three sectors has reached the highest ever recorded level of €34.5 billion.


For the 2022-2025 period, according to data elaborated by HostMilano, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of +5.6 per cent in value (euros) is forecast for world trade in coffee products, with a total value expected to reach €43 billion. 


As for the world market rankings, the United States (22.4 per cent) and Germany (14.2 per cent) were the main destinations in terms of sales in 2021, ahead of Italy (6.4 per cent), Japan (5.1 per cent), Belgium (4.2 per cent) and Switzerland (3.8 per cent). 


The sector’s top exporter at a global level in 2021 was, once again, Brazil (with a 27.6 per cent share), ahead of Colombia (13.9 per cent), Vietnam (9.9 per cent), Honduras (5.4 per cent), Guatemala (3.6 per cent), Ethiopia and Belgium (each with a share of 3.5 per cent).


Asia at the centre of a beverage revolution


Asia, where the beverage of choice has always been tea, is now welcoming coffee with open arms. Always a great producer, counting 29 per cent of the world’s coffee beans, Asia has never entered the top of the consumer countries, but now things have changed: in the last five years, according to ICO (International Coffee Organisation) – data reported by HostMilano – consumption of coffee on the continent has grown by 1.5 per cent. 


There are various reasons why this has happened, but one of the main explanations is the huge Chinese market, where the burgeoning middle class has been welcoming Western trends such as wine-, and now coffee-drinking. Young Asians have acquired new habits, often discovered while studying abroad, and they have been bewitched by the intense aroma of coffee, which has also gained ground thanks to recipes spread via social media. The opportunity has already been seized on by Western coffee chains – from Starbucks (whose presence in China numbers 5,400 outlets over 200 cities) to Costa Coffee (which in addition to its over 450+ sales outlets  in China also offers so-called Costa Express – vending machines that dispense high-quality coffee to consumers across the country).


The market in Italy, the country of coffee


It is no secret that coffee is big business in Italy, and the figures certainly demonstrate the beverage’s importance to the country’s economy. Italy’s exports of products relating to the coffee sector reached a new high of €2.6 billion in 2021, up 14 per cent on 2020. More specifically, there was a substantial growth in Italian exports of decaffeinated or roasted coffee (+14.1 per cent) and of espresso coffee machines (+14.3 per cent). 


By 2025, a CAGR in Italian exports of coffee-related products of +5.5 per cent in value (euros) is forecast, with total exports expected to reach nearly €3.3 billion. Meanwhile, Italian imports of coffee-related products grew by six per cent on 2020 figures. This resulted in a further improvement in Italy’s balance of trade, which in 2021 reached a value of +1,193 million euros – an all-time high for the sector of coffee products. The most significant component in Italian imports overall was coffee beans, which accounted for over 77 per cent of total Italian imports regarding the coffee sector.


Coffee machines gaining ground


Coffee-making machines are entering a new era. After the downturn recorded in 2020 (-22.1 per cent in euro value), following the general lockdowns caused by the pandemic, world trade recovered nearly 14 percentage points in 2021, reaching a value of €4.5bn. Moreover, it is expected that a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels will have been achieved by 2023, and by the end of this period the projection is for a value of €5.6 billion euros, with a CAGR of +5.6 per cent in euro value.


In 2021, Italy was once again the top exporting nation for coffee machines (with a share of 21.3 per cent), ahead of Germany (16.1 per cent), Switzerland (11.4 per cent) and the United States (10.3 per cent). The growth recorded by China is worth noting: it rose to fifth place with a share of 7.5 per cent. The United States is the world’s biggest importer of espresso coffee machinery, accounting for 19.2 per cent of world demand in 2021. Behind it, Germany (6.5 per cent), France (4.8 per cent), China (4.7 per cent) and the UK (4.6 per cent). 


The return to offices and major events pushes the proposal of vending coffee machines. This is one of the ways of administering coffee that companies are working on, as showcased also last October at HostMilano with the new solutions that allow to manage various types of coffee and preparations, with the focus on speciality coffee.


Consumption habits of new coffee-lovers: the case of Gen Z


The consumer is evolving to gain a deeper knowledge of the raw material, and in turn expects to be met with various enticing options at the bar. That offer continues to expand, also according to the tastes of a new generation for whom the coffee break is increasingly becoming a moment to be posted on social media. Such consumption behaviour, driven by the trends spread on social channels – Tik Tok above all  – could well become an interesting market opportunity in its own right, according to HostMilano.


The event organisers suggest that this phenomenon probably all began with Dalgona Coffee, a brew that started in Korea during the pandemic. Consisting of a creamy foam topping made using instant coffee and sugar added to hot or cold milk, Dalgona Coffee soon became the It-Drink of the moment through TikTok, the social media platform favoured by today’s ‘Gen Z’ teenagers. Thereafter came Proffee – a blend of coffee and a protein drink – followed by a whole array of other drinks that have coffee as their base but focus on appearance more than on substance, mixing it with plant milks (Vegan Dalgona) or cow’s milk, ice, syrups and so on. 


The latest National Coffee Drinking Trends survey conducted by the NCA (the US National Coffee Association) shows how 46 per cent of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 drink coffee regularly. The report highlighted the growing popularity of cold, iced and even frozen coffee, especially among this consumer group. Also a 2020 survey by the University of Foggia found that 76 per cent of youngsters have a caffeine-based drink every day, with 9 out of 10 consuming it through coffee, 34.3 per cent through soft drinks (cold tea and cola), and 3.4 per cent through energy drinks.


The coffee of the future: important signs of change from HostMilano


During the last edition of HostMilano, exhibitors presented their innovation policies through products: from machines to packaging, from capsules to production, more and more companies are focusing on environmental sustainability. 


‘Consume less, consume better, and reduce impact on the environment’ – this is the goal of many companies operating in the sector, including Italian machine manufacturer Cimbali group, which presented at HostMilano 2021 their Sustainability Manifesto, summarising the main schemes they are working on: from worker health & safety and a commitment to diversity & inclusivity, to the use of recyclable materials, the application of technologies for energy-saving, an efficiency drive on production processes, and even collaboration with other corporate entities and organisations in order to achieve shared aims. Additionally, on the innovation front, Cimbali has ushered in a new era of espresso coffee machines that revolutionise the way in which the world’s most popular beverage is prepared, at the bar but also in commercial settings where coffee is not the core business. 


For packaging system innovator Goglio, 2022 will see a consolidation of the trends that have emerged in recent years in the world of coffee packaging: recyclability and compostability. The deadlines set by the European Directives and an attention to the circular economy have led to a demand for materials that can readily be recycled – especially mono-materials – with major developments observed in both the lamination and the design of packaging lines to ensure their suitability of use together with new-generation materials. Goglio offers the market new mono-polyethylene and mono-polypropylene products that allow coffee to be packaged in ‘ready-to-recycle’ containers.


HostMilano is the international exhibition dedicated to the world of food service and hospitality. Taking place every two years, it offers everything needed to build a successful business, from raw materials to semi-finished products, from machinery to equipment, from furnishings to tableware, with one eye firmly focused on trends, technologies and innovation. HostMilano returns to Milan for its 43rd edition in October 2023 


All updates on: www.host.fieramilano.it  @HostMilano #Host2023

Latest issue – Vol 1/22
– Health & Nutrition focus
– GULFOOD SPECIAL
– Food and beverage trend predictions for 2022
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