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  • 2.2.1-THE MARKETS FOR COFFEE-UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

  • THE-COFFEE-GUIDE.gif 
  • United States of America

     
     

    Summary data 

    • Population: 314.66 million  
    • ICO data put 2009 per capita consumption at 4.09 kg, up from 3.98 kg in 1995, but down from 4.20 kg in 2004  
    • The United States accounted for 18.8% of world gross imports in 2009; the equivalent figure was 69% in 1947, 44% in 1968 and 18% in 1994.  
    • 2009 green bean imports were 20.9 million bags; gross imports of all forms of coffee were 23.6 million bags GBE.  
    • Main green bean suppliers were: Brazil 26%, Colombia 16%, Vietnam 13%, Guatemala 8%, Mexico 6%, Indonesia 6%,  Peru 4% and Costa Rica 4%. Between them, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua provided a further 11%.  
    • Imports of green coffee from countries in Europe have fallen sharply from just over 1 million bags in 2006 to 674,000 bags in 2009; over 98% of which came from Germany.  
    • Estimated shares in 2009 green bean imports from producing countries were: arabica 78%; robusta 22%.  
    • Imports of processed coffee were 2.64 million bags, of which approximately 26% were from Mexico, 23% from Brazil, 17% from Canada and 13% were from EU countries.  Exports of processed coffee were 2.37 million bags, of which an estimated 79% went to Canada.  
    • Estimates of the combined market share of Kraft Foods, Sara Lee / DE, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks and Nestlé range from 75% to over 80%.  
    • 16% of consumption is decaffeinated, up from 9% in 2002 but still down from the 25% share it had in 1987. 

    Green coffee makes up the bulk of imports into the United States. Rather surprisingly given the growth in specialty coffee consumption in the United States, the origin mix of its green coffee imports has not altered greatly over the last ten years or so. In 1990, 61% of United States imports of green coffee from producing countries came from the Colombian milds and other milds groups,
    while in 2008 this was still almost 55% but supply problems in Colombia and Central America in 2009 (and also probably in 2010) have reduced this down to just over 48%.

    However, imports from Brazil vary from year to year
    and in 2009 increased to almost 26% of green bean imports from 22% in 2007, while imports of robusta coffee (including estimated imports of robusta from Brazil) have fallen from 27% in 2006 to 22% in 2009. (X) There is no doubt that the initial increase in the use of robusta during the period 2000/06 reflected the greater consumption of espresso blends containing robusta coffee, as well as its incorporation in many of the mainstream blends as a means of keeping prices lower, however, the more recent decline in robusta use is thought by some analysts to reflect consumer resistance to the altered taste profile that the greater use of robusta created.
    Roast and ground. Just under two-thirds of all coffee sales are of roast and ground coffee sold through supermarkets. Over 70% of the coffee sold for home consumption (where
    82% of total consumption takes place based on cups consumed per person per day basis) is roast and ground coffee sold in a can or vacuum pack.

    Specialty coffee. This sector has transformed and improved the image of coffee in the eyes of the American consumer. In 1991 it was estimated that there were just 500 gourmet or specialty coffeehouses, yet by
    2009 there were an estimated 10,000-plus. This number excludes other coffee venues such as coffee carts, kiosks, vending machines and cafes in bookstores, sporting arenas and transportation facilities, which have also seen an explosion in numbers.

    Even so, roasted or regular coffee remains the most popular type of coffee consumed in America in 2009, accounting for 70 out of every 100 cups of coffee consumed, although this is down from 79 cups per 100 in 2007. Soluble coffee consumption on the other hand has witnessed something of a resurgence over the past three years and today accounts for around 11 cups per 100 (up from just under 7 cups per 100 in 2004), while the other 19 cups per 100 consist of gourmet or specialty coffee beverages. It would appear that the trend towards specialty coffee products and especially soluble specialty coffee products, has taken its toll on regular coffee consumption, but the data suggests that consumption patterns do vary markedly from year to year and it could well be that while the current economic situation has accelerated the trend towards soluble coffee, this may not be sustained in the longer term.