Coffee Trends in Africa – Is Africa an Untapped Market for Coffee Sellers?

Coffee Trends in Africa – Is Africa an Untapped Market for Coffee Sellers?

While Africa is the second-largest continent in the world, many of its countries have preferred tea over coffee. That trend is quickly changing as coffee becomes more and more popular in Africa.

Let’s take a look at the ten top coffee-consuming nations and see where African countries land!

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As you can see, a majority of the top ten coffee-drinking countries are European. African countries are not a leader in coffee consumption at all. In fact, many African countries do not even drink coffee. However, that fact is rapidly changing. How is that change happening? What can be expected for the future of African coffee drinking?

Which countries in Africa are the highest in coffee consumption? Ethiopia and Algeria are far above their fellow African countries. Per year, Ethiopia consumes an average of 3,000 60-kilogram  bags, while Algeria follows with a little over 2,000 bags per year. All other African countries fall well below 1,000 bags, mostly clustering around 400-500 bags, or even lower. Why is there so little coffee consumption? Traditionally, the people of African countries have opted for tea, as tea is a cheaper option. Many Africans do not see the benefit in spending more money on coffee, when they can have a similar drink at a much lower cost. This trend still reigns in many African nations such as Nigeria or Kenya, where coffee drinking is less popular.

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How did coffee sales begin in Africa? Coffee sales in Africa began in local stores. However, more and more Africans are wanting freshly brewed coffee. This means sales have grown and will continue growing, albeit slowly. As the middle class in Africa grows, the amount of coffee drinkers are expected to grow as well. Because more people will have a little extra money to spend, they will be able to afford coffee.

Who sells coffee in Africa? The desire for specialty coffee has been noticed in many African franchises. Most use coffee as a way to warm the body, loaded with lots of milk and sugar. Also, flavored syrups are being discovered by these people as being a great flavoring to their coffee. Straight, black coffee is the least popular. In addition to pushing the variety of possible coffee flavors, local stores are pushing the environment of the coffee shop. Shops present themselves as a social place with friendly workers who will give you a cheerful start to your morning. The idea of being part of the coffee community is also making sales grow. Many companies and sellers want to open the African market and sell more coffee. In order to do this, they need to make Africans convince people what makes coffee better than tea. Many companies or stores are pushing coffee as a great way of getting caffeine, to keep you awake for studying, working, etc. This approach is working as more and more people have begun trying coffee.

Are coffee sales growing? While no country in Africa is a top ten consumer, the coffee industry is rising two to three percent every year. Cape Town is a leading city for new coffee shops; however, these shops are being opened almost exclusively in the wealthier areas. The cheapest place to buy coffee in Cape Town is Department of Coffee, where you can get a cappuccino for around one US dollar! This is definitely a great deal compared to prices in other countries.

How do African countries compare to other countries in coffee consumption? In a list of countries that consume the most coffee, the first African country to appear on the list is Algeria. Algeria appears  as number 27.  Another African country does  not appear until Tunisia, in place number 35.

Let’s compare caffeine from coffee, mg per day, that are consumed in different countries. In Finland, which is the number one coffee drinking nation, 322 mg of caffeine from coffee are consumed per day. Algeria(remember, it’s one of the top consuming African nations) consumes 79 mg per day. That number is less than a third of what the top country consumes. Other African countries such as Egypt or Nigeria have as low as 5 or even 2 mg per day. On the other hand, Egypt has 53 mg of caffeine a day from tea. As you can see, the sale of tea is a lot more popular than that of coffee in many African nations. South Africa, a platform for future coffee sales, has 15 mg per day from coffee and 23mg a day from tea.

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What countries are really invested in the coffee business? Uganda produces a large amount of domestic coffee. A very small percentage of Ugandans drink coffee, so a majority of the coffee is exported to other African nations. Right now, this Ugandan industry provides income to around five million households. The rise of coffee drinking could result in more Ugandans with work.

Are there any plans for the future of African coffee? Yes, Starbucks will open its first store in South Africa this month, April 2016. They will, of course have an edited menu, including specially brewed tea. This is a big step, both for Africa and Starbucks. Starbucks has a few locations in northern Africa, but none in southern Africa. In the next two years, they plan on opening many more locations.

Overall, while African nations lag behind many countries in their coffee consumption, coffee’s popularity is growing throughout Africa and is expected to continue growing.

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