Gourmet coffee sales up 9 per cent

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Coffee, Starbucks

Coffee retailer Starbucks Corp. announced on Saturday that the
coffee shop revolution in the U.S. had halted a downtrend in coffee
consumption and raised...

Coffee retailer Starbucks Corp. announced on Saturday that the coffee shop revolution in the U.S. had halted a downtrend in coffee consumption and raised quality standards in the industry, Reuters reports. ''It really has been a revolution and we have created an industry which didn't exist. It has arrested the (consumption) decline in North America,''​ Starbucks President and Chief Executive Officer Orin Smith said. Speaking to delegates this week at a world coffee conference in London, Smith said Starbucks and other coffee houses had educated the American public to enjoy coffee of a higher standard. ''And they are willing to pay for it, which means we are able to pay more at origin,''​ he said. Robert Nelson, president of the National Coffee Association of America (NCA) said gourmet coffee houses in the States numbered around 8,500 in 2001, against fewer than 500 five years ago. He said 14 per cent of American adults now drink gourmet coffee beverages on a daily basis, up nine per cent on 2000. Major coffee roasters, manufacturers and retailers have recently come under fire in the mediafor continuing to make consumers pay high prices for a cup of coffee despite a massive drop in green coffee prices at origin. World coffee prices have slumped to historical lows over the past two years, throwing millions of farmers in developing countries into severe poverty, butretail prices in Western nations have not fallen accordingly. Chronic oversupply in world markets, linked with falling or stagnating demand and high stocks in consumer countries have conspired to throw the coffeeworld into its worst ever crisis. Smith said Starbucks had begun to implement longer-term price contracts with farmers in order to assure quality standards for its products at stable prices. He said the coffee giant had entered into some contracts paying prices of up to $1.40 a pound. This compares to international futures prices for arabica coffee,which last traded at just over 65 cents a pound on Friday. Source: Reuters

Related topics: Market Trends

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