WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Since its time as a British colony and subsequent member of the Commonwealth of Nations, New Zealand has had a natural affinity for tea. It may come as a surprise to some, then, that the nation ranks in the Top 20 for the largest number of coffee consumers per capita – ahead of countries like Australia and even the US. It’s also attributed with inventing the ‘flat white’ (don’t tell the Aussies).
While the industry is currently dominated by international companies like Nestlé and Jacobson Douw Egberts, there are a number of smaller local companies that are also producing top-quality coffee products; often more cheaply than their international counterparts.
Many NZ consumers prefer these local brands not only due to pricing and taste, but because of their generally more personalised service and consumers’ ability to easily monitor these companies’ claims of being organic as well as their fair trade practices.
The industry is also very competitive in terms of coffee shops and developing quality baristas. And, it’s not uncommon for consumers to have a favourite ‘spot’ where they purchase their morning cup.
In terms of recent developments in the coffee retail market, there has been a sharp uptake in the purchase of coffee machines for home use.
This increase is attributed to the impact of Covid-19, with many consumers unable to visit a local coffee shop and/or no longer able to afford coffee shop prices. Of the home options, fresh ground coffee pods are the biggest sellers.
While this may have been problematic only a few short years ago due to such pods’ wastage and how they were not biodegradable, the fact that many companies now offer recyclable pods has helped to increase their popularity.
For what was once a strong tea drinking nation, NZ’s coffee industry is alive and well and may prove a valuable contributor to the country’s economy in the years ahead.