Business World

NCA Convention Convenes

The NCA Convention was recently held in Scottsdale, Arizona and Juan Valdez was there! People lined up for their pictures to be taken alongside the newly appointed Juan. It didn’t matter that we’ve all been in the coffee business for years, because here was the new Juan and we all wanted to meet him!

The Colombian Federation is confident of government support that will help finance a coffee regeneration project. About 90% of Colombia’s coffee is held by smallholders who generally own less than three hectares; their profit margin on crops leaves little money for improvement, yet their trees are aging and yielding less. In order to encourage growers to replace the old trees with new bushes, the Federation is working together with the government to offer financial incentives to smallholders who take the initiative to replace the older trees. The Federation is certain this program will renew, revitalize and increase coffee production.

Again, the NCA Conference brought an excellent informative conference to the 450+ attendees with subjects covering every segment of the roasting industry. Revealed at the convention was the annual study conducted by the NCA, which stated the daily market penetration of coffee among American adults surpassed that of soft drinks, restoring coffee’s pre-1990 dominance. The 2007 market research study confirmed that 57% of American adults drink coffee daily, while 51% consume soft drinks each day. However, in another major finding, coffee consumption among 18-24 year olds jumped 6% in a fourth, consecutive annual increase. The 2007 data reveal that consumption among this age group has soared from 16% in 2004 to 37% in 2007.

All of the increase in 2007 daily consumption occurred in regular coffee, for which daily consumption increased to 48%, from 47% last year. Daily consumption of gourmet coffee beverages softened to 14% from 2006’s 16%, with subsets espresso-based beverages off by one percentage point from last year to 6%, and gourmet coffee down to 8% from 10% in 2006. While these numbers suggest trending toward increased traditional coffee consumption, how Americans define “gourmet” — given the wider variety of coffee options available in the marketplace — may impact the responses behind the numbers.

Other speakers reported an increase in consumption in Brazil and Asia. The Chinese lifestyle is changing and coffee shops are becoming more popular for young people who include these venues for studying and dating, not necessarily in that order. The new coffee drinker starts drinking sweet and creamy coffee beverages and then changes to drip coffee and whole bean.

Needless to say, the NCA brought an abundance of education to its membership!

Jane McCabe
Editor & Co-Publisher

Tea & Coffee - March, 2007

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