HAMBURG – After a strong year 2020, the German coffee market 2021 reported renewed growth. The per capita consumption rose from 168 to 169 liters. That corresponds to around 500 million more cups (compared to 2020), which were drunk across Germany last year. Increase in food retail sales, pandemic-related decline out-of-home. On the upswing: The positive development in 2021 is primarily the result of increased sales of roasted coffee in the food retail sector.
German market for roasted coffee 2021
Working from home and lockdown caused that the consumption of roasted coffee at home, with friends, family and acquaintances increased by 2.1 percent (plus 7,900 tons).
“We are a coffee nation. Coffee is crisis-proof and remains Germans’ favorite drink. In 2021, even more coffee was consumed than in previous years. The places of consumption have shifted further due to the pandemic,” says Holger Preibisch, CEO of the German Coffee Association.
In the second year of the pandemic, the decline in the out-of-home coffee market continued, but at a lower level than in 2020. The out-of-home segment lost 5.7 percent (minus 5,800 tons of roasted coffee) compared to the previous year.
The greatest losses record (hotel)restaurants (minus 25 %), cafes (minus 15 %) and kiosks (minus 14 %). Profits were shown by i.a. coffee shops (plus 25 %), fast-food outlets/restaurants (plus 61 %) and bakeries (plus 3 %). (Source: Coffee consumption study by the German Coffee Association “So trinkt Deutschland Kaffee 2021”.)
In total, the coffee market in 2021 (excluding the soluble coffee segment) showed an increase of 0.4 percent (plus 2,100 tons of roasted coffee), since the losses out-of-home were more than compensated by the growth of the coffee consumption at home.
Roasted coffee consumption at home: “whole bean” biggest growth driver
In 2021 growth drivers for coffee preparation at home were “whole beans”. They’re primarily used for preparation with fully automatic coffee machines or portafilter machines. The segment grew by 11.1 percent and achieved a market share of 41 percent. This brings “whole beans” closer to R&G coffee. This remained Germans’ favorite – with a market share of 47 percent.
“Today, every third household in Germany has a fully automatic coffee machine. Distribution grew by around 20 percent from 2019 to 2021 (“Every third household in Germany now owns a fully automatic coffee machine. Their availability increased by around 20 percent from 2019 to 2021.” Source: Coffee consumption study by the German Coffee Association “So trinkt Deutschland Kaffee”). Lockdown and working from home led to increased coffee consumption and the purchase of new coffee machines,” says Preibisch. “The pandemic is therefore a motivator for fresh and uncomplicated enjoyment with the push of a button.“
The coffee preparation with pads and capsules was also popular in 2021, despite occasional reductions. The consumption of coffee capsules remained stable. Their market share lasted unchanged at 5.3 percent. With a market share of 6.8 percent, coffee pods were still in demand. However, their sales fell by 6.1 percent compared to 2020.
Sales of soluble coffee in food retail: strong increase of single portions
Soluble coffee in its different forms for preparation at home were again very popular in 2021. Sales in food retail increased in all areas compared to 2020. Especially the single portion sticks with milk and/or sugar, also known as „X in 1“ (“X in 1” refers to single-serving mixes with soluble coffee, milk powder and/or sugar), recorded significant gains of 15.4 percent. Soluble mixed drinks, e. g. “cappuccino type”, rose by 1.6 percent. Pure soluble coffee achieved a plus of 0.7 percent.
“We are looking positively into the future for 2022,” says Preibisch. “The level of consumption out-of-home was at the pre-corona level in the third quarter. This shows that the consumer is just waiting to drink coffee in the catering sector again. With the recent political easing measures, we therefore expect fulminant coffee consumption out-of-home in 2022.”