business news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that global demand for coffee is helping to tighten supplies, driven at least in part by Americans who " are becoming java junkies at an earlier age," and "young adults (who) are increasing their daily consumption at a fast enough pace to make up for declines by older folks."

The story says that "demand in the U.S., the world’s top user, is set for an all-time high, and the trend among younger drinkers is also playing out in other big consumers including Brazil and even tea-loving China." The bad news is that tightening is made worse because "consumption is climbing as drought crimps supplies from Brazil, the world’s biggest producer and exporter."

Two interesting notes from the story:

• "Millennials -- a cohort of young people now aged about 19 to 34 -- account for about 44 percent of U.S. coffee demand, according to Chicago-based researcher Datassential. In the eight years through 2016, daily consumption among 18- to 24-years-olds rose to 48 percent from 34 percent, while it climbed to 60 percent from 51 percent among those aged 25 to 39, according to the National Coffee Association.

• "The coffee craze is also starting earlier in life. Younger millennials, born after 1995, started drinking coffee at about 14.7 years old, while older millenials, born closer to 1982, began at 17.1 years, data from the association show."
KC's View:
It seems inevitable that the result of this confluence will be higher prices, which may only be compensated for by deflation.

Next thing you know, there will be coffee-infused baby formula, with Starbucks deciding to get into that business so they can develop people's palates at the earliest possible age.

I have to admit that I'm finding it a little hard to swallow that whole "declines by older folks" stuff. Every once in a while I try to cut back a little bit, or try decaf ... but the loss of the pure pleasure of black coffee never seems worth the trouble. And then I generally manage to find an article saying that coffee is good for brain function and will help me live longer, and I pour another cup.