Millennials’ undying love for coffee is no secret but you might be surprised to know that their ever-increasing java demand is in fact leading to a worldwide shortage of supplies.
A new Bloomberg report revealed that coffee demand has been spiraling well above expectations as people across the United States, the world’s top consumer, and other major consumers including Brazil and China are becoming hooked on the caffeine beverage at an earlier age while young adults are increasing their daily intake on a faster-than-ever pace.
For one, the coffee consumption of millennials, who make up a blistering 44 percent of US coffee demand, rose by 14 percent for those aged 19 to 34 and by 11 percent for those aged 25 to 39 2008 and 2016 as reported by the National Coffee Association in New York.
But the difference between the two millennial cohorts lies in the starting age of coffee consumption as those born after 1995 took up drinking coffee at the average age of 14.7 years while their older counterparts who were born more towards 1982, began drinking at a much later age, averaged at 17.1 years.
Besides driving down global supplies, the trend has already started to affect prices. “Consumption is climbing as drought crimps supplies from Brazil, the world’s biggest producer and exporter,” the report reads. “Prices for the Arabica variety surged to the highest since February 2015 last week in New York.”
According to the report, Brazil’s dry weather is an essential factor in impeding the country’s Robusta coffee crops, characterized by low acidity and high bitterness, leading to an increasing reliance on smoother Arabica beans among major coffee roasters including Starbucks Corp. and thus amplifying the latter’s prices worldwide.
On the bright side, however, these coffee crops still got a chance to recover especially if the rains come in handy in key agricultural areas across the country (and we’ve still got quite some coffee in stock so you may indulge on the beloved drink as long as you can!).