1.1 Definition and scope of study
Coffee consumption originated in the 15th century in Yemen, then spread to the Arab-Ottoman kingdom, and finally reached Europe. It is the second most traded commodity in the world after oil, and the most consumed beverage after water.
Global consumption was estimated at 9 million tons in 2018, equivalent to 2 billion cups consumed every day. Brazil, the United States, Japan, Western and Northern European countries are the largest consumers of coffee, whilst most of the world's production stems from Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia and Indonesia. Typically, production occurs on small farms of less than 5 hectares.
The global coffee market is expanding, where fresh coffee drives growth. Instant coffee will also demonstrate positive growth going forward, albeit at a lower rate. Moreover, coffee consumption is becoming more and more trendy, particularly in the Western World, and consumers are looking to purchase niched assortments with unique aroma and taste. This is proven by the fact that almost 20% of global coffee distribution was through independent small grocers in 2019.
Despite the dynamism of smaller distributors, the global coffee market is concentrated, where the two largest firms (Nestlé and Jacobs Douwe Egberts) accounted for almost 35% of sales in 2019.
The UK coffee market is mature : 65 million cups are consumed on a daily basis which is close to one cup per day per inhabitant. The United Kingdom’s relatively low per capita consumption can be explained by the fact that the consumption of tea is strongly rooted in British culture. In 2019, consumption volume fell. However, the market registered positive growth, which confirms the premiumization trend in the UK. Indeed, inhabitants are looking for better-quality coffee. The market is expected to expand, driven by product innovation. In addition, the number of coffee shops is increasing.
Market concentration remains extremely high in the United Kingdom; in 2019, Nestlé held almost 49% of the market share measured through sales, followed by Douwe Egbert. Going forward, these positions could be somewhat threatened as smaller players look to reap market share through offering more niched products.
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