Euromonitor Compares Coffee to Tea Retail Volume

Market researchers last week confirmed a bit of anecdotal evidence evident to every tea retailer.

“When it comes to hot beverages, the world is divided in two camps: Coffee drinkers and tea drinkers, and seldom the twain shall meet,” concluded the Huffington Post after reviewing a fascinating Datagraphic from Euromonitor International showing The World’s Biggest Coffee and Tea Drinkers.

Euromonitor The World's Biggest Coffee and Tea DrinkersEuromonitor plotted the per capita retail volume of the brewed beverages by region, highlighting certain countries as outliers. Tea consumption increases along the x-axis and coffee consumption along the y-axis of the chart. The data shows that “in most markets, consumers who are primarily coffee drinkers are less likely to drink much tea, and vice versa.”

It is a generalization that works well for hot drink customers in Western Europe, the Middle East and Africa but the “distinction is blurrier in Eastern Europe.”

France, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands are positioned high on the coffee side while China, Russia, England, Ireland, New Zealand and Morocco spend more on tea.

The United States was the biggest retail coffee market in the world by far at $13 billion with Brazil, Germany, Japan and France rounding out the top five. Volume growth in Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producer, is outpacing that of the U.S. but coffee is consumed largely in the home as few there can afford a $5 Starbucks latte. Sales of coffee in Germany and Brazil are about half that of the U.S.

It is not surprising that China is the world’s most valuable retail market at $9 billion. Chinese readily spend for quality tea and their country not only produces the largest quantity, but China is the only country in the world to produce commercial quantities of all the major types of tea. Russia and Japan spend about half as much on tea. Rounding out the top five tea markets are the U.S. and Germany.

Euromonitor confirmed the growing trend worldwide as consumers turn to fruit, green and herbal teas.

In coffee, the popularity of single-serve pods shows no signs of slowing, while in Asia, instant coffee enjoys singular popularity.

At $13 billion, the U.S. was the biggest coffee market in terms of retail value in 2013, followed by Brazil, Germany, Japan and France.

Meanwhile, tea is a $9 billion industry in China, making it the world’s biggest retail market. Rounding out the top five tea markets are Russia, Japan, the US and Germany.

The report also points out that fruit, green and herbal teas are growing in popularity outside key tea markets.

In coffee, the popularity of single-serve pods shows no signs of slowing, while in Asia, instant coffee enjoys singular popularity.

Here are the largest coffee markets in the world, in retail value terms:

1. US
2. Brazil
3. Germany
4. Japan
5. France
6. Russia
7. Italy
8. UK
9. Canada
10. Poland

The biggest tea markets in the world in terms of retail value:

1. China
2. Russia
3. Japan
4. USA
5. Germany
6. India
7. UK
8. Iran
9. Uzbekistan
10. Pakistan

Learn more: Euromonitor International

Source: Euromonitor International, Huffington Post