The world in a cup of coffee: consumption and trends for 2021

Fiera Milano, Rho


The world in a cup of coffee: consumption and trends for 2021

Italians add coffee to their panettone while also experimenting with new blends and extractions. The biggest consumers in the world are in Scandinavia and new trends are globalising from North America.


Each year over 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world, according to data from ICO, the International Coffee Organization. It is a well known fact that Italians are the greatest lovers of this beverage. However, perhaps due to their preference for smaller sizes, at 5.5 kg per capita per year they are not its greatest consumers in terms of quantity. It may come as a surprise that Nordic countries are in pole position in this respect: 12 kg per capita in Finland, 9.9 in Norway and 9 kg in Iceland. Canada also triumphs as one of the biggest markets, at tenth place with 6.2 kg per capita per year.


After all, North America is the place where new trends become truly global, even if they originate elsewhere. One of the trends heading our way from across the ocean will undoubtedly be a revival of Turkish coffee, an extra fine blend for dissolving directly in water, not to mention innovative Vietnamese coffees. Indeed for a few years now, the world's second biggest exporter has also flourished as a consumer in its own, unique way, although ca phe trung (egg coffee) or ca phe sua da (iced coffee), both exclusively made using the Robusta variety, may not necessarily be everyone's cup America is also bringing us healthy coffee, more in line with European tastes, like coffee with matcha tea, golden milk (turmeric milk) or cocoa infusion.


During the upcoming festive season coffee is set to make a big comeback, not only as a beverage but as an ingredient too, starting from one of this year's must-haves: coffee-flavoured panettone, not to mention consolidated homemade concoctions like smoothies, yoghurt and slushes. Coffee with chocolate is set to become another unmissable trend and is not to be mistaken for a mere flavoured coffee. The beverage is created by adding real chocolate which actually melts due to the heat of the coffee.



Italians are discovering new coffee cultures


Experimentation focuses not only on aromas, but also on extraction methods. Even though Italians invented and exported espresso coffee throughout the world, in recent times they have also discovered techniques like the dripper or French press, not to mention the great comeback of the moka that is increasingly winning foreigners over. Therefore the Italian market is becoming increasingly interesting, not only for national machine manufacturers and roasters, but also for those abroad looking to export machines and blends that are more characteristic of other coffee cultures, to Italy or other markets.


Gianluca Gilardi, Head of Marketing at Torrefazione El Miguel, explains: "Like many others, we have felt the effects of a near stand-still in HoReCa and in response we have focused on the diversification of channels. Online we have renewed the website and launched the shop, something we didn't have before and which has enabled us to reach out to new  consumers. In Retail we have created a network of small selectors of excellence, through which we reach out to new targets in proximity commerce. As regards consumer trends and new products, on the one hand we are continuing to promote espresso culture in Italy and throughout the world, our origin and something we have grown with; on the other hand, we have chosen to focus on moka, as a ritual and moment of conviviality, also offering specifically developed single origin and gourmet grinds". 



A key market for imports and exports


Doing business in Italy means being present in one of the world's coffee market hot beds: according to data by ISTAT/ the Italian Coffee Committee, Italy is the third largest market in the world for green coffee imports (preceded by the USA and Germany) and the world's third largest (preceded by Germany and Belgium) in terms of coffee export volumes, in all its forms. Specifically, in 2019 Italy imported 10.2 million 60 kg sacks of green coffee, up 1.48% compared to the previous year, whereas roasted coffee exports amounted to an equivalent of 5.2 million green sacks, up 16%. European markets like France, Germany, Austria along with the United Kingdom absorb over 60%. Among non EU countries, the most significant destinations are Switzerland, the USA, Australia, Russia and Canada, whereas the most interesting increases have been observed in East Europe, Israel, Saudi Arabia, China and South Korea.


At TUTTOFOOD 2021, at fieramilano from 17th to 20th May, coffee will be showcased at TUTTODRINK, at the heart of an event bringing together all Food & Beverage supply chains under a single roof.