• QA 136
    What is the market for natural caffeine?
    I'm interested in the market for decaffeinated coffee, as well as that for natural caffeine. Do you have any details?
    Asked by:
    Researcher - Switzerland

    Details of the market for decaffeinated coffee are given in Q&A 132 in the Q&A Archive, as well as in topic 02.01.06 of the Guide itself.

    Natural caffeine is found in a number of plant species of which probably the best known are coffee, tea, kola nuts and maté.* However, commercial extraction only takes place from coffee and tea. After extraction through the decaffeination process (see topic 02.10.06 of the Guide) caffeine has to undergo quite a complicated, multi-stage purification process .**

    Demand for natural caffeine is for use in certain types of drinks as colas, as well as in certain foods. Other uses are in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries where caffeine in low dosages can be used as an active component.

    It is difficult to estimate the market for natural caffeine, or to obtain statistics. However, we are given to understand that the total volume could be in the region of 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes annually. Values are equally hard to come by but again we are given to understand that for 100% pure caffeine the price could be in the region of  some € 14 per kilogram (currently about 18 USD).

    * Yerba maté (Spanish) is a species of holly, native to parts of subtropical South America. The infusion called maté is prepared by steeping the dry leaves (and twigs) in hot rather than boiling water, like black tea or coffee.

    * * Synthetic caffeine is produced as well, mainly in China as we understand it.

    Posted 16 February 2007

    Related chapter(s):
    Related Q & A:
    Q&A 001, 095, 096, 132