US Coffee Consumption Expected to Drop, But Supplies Remain Strong

Are Americans getting more sleep? Turning increasingly to tea? There must be some explanation for the latest forecast from the US Department of Agriculture that shows Americans will actually be consuming less coffee in the coming year.

Turns out, the single-cup coffee maker is playing a major role in how much coffee Americans are drinking and are expected to consume throughout 2015 and 2016. According to the USDA report, the US will consume 23.7 million 60-kg bags in 2015/16. During 2014/15, consumption was nearly 24 million bags. Consumption has been growing steadily since 2010 but now will take a dip for the first time in a long time. And, while consumption is expected to fall only slightly, it is worth noting that the US is the only country among the top coffee-drinking countries to experience a drop in demand.

But as more coffee drinkers buy and use single-cup coffee makers, like the popular Keurig machine, Americans are brewing only what they intend to actually drink. They are brewing 1 cup, instead of 1 full pot of coffee. No longer are many consumers making a full pot of coffee, not drinking it all and pouring the remainder down the drain. Therefore, less coffee beans are being used, and demand is falling, according to the USDA report.

Demand, Supplies Remain High Elsewhere

While Americans seems to be keeping their caffeine levels in check, coffee remains in high demand among other countries around the world. In the EU, for instance, coffee consumption has steadily increased since 2012/13 and consumption is expected to grow to 43.9 million bags in 2015/16 from more than 43.8 million bags in 2014/15 . Brazil, Japan, Canada, Russia and the Philippines (other top consumers) will all see consumption increase in the coming year.

The top producers of coffee are expected to increase supplies as well in the next year. Brazil – the No. 1 producer in the world – is expected to produce 52.4 million 60-kg bags of coffee in the 2015/16 year, up from 51.2 million in the prior period. This comes after Brazil’s production took a hit due to drought in the 2013/14 season.

Brazil will remain the top player in world coffee bean exports in the coming year, though the amount is expected to decline slightly from last year, the USDA report also shows. Brazil exported 32.5 million bags of coffee in 2014/15, but the USDA is predicting the country will export just 30 million bags in the 2015/16 year.

Spending is Still Strong

The amount of money Americans spent on coffee in 2014 reached $11.9 billion – a record amount. And, surprisingly, while consumption is expected to decline, spending on coffee is likely to increase to $12.8 billion this year, Reuters reported. Spending is also expected to increase even more in 2016, to $13.6 billion.

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