Peter Navarro, a trade advisor to US President Donald Trump, once had a book on investment advice, titled If It’s Raining In Brazil, Buy Starbucks. The stock of a top coffee chain, in his analysis, would soar. China, rather than Brazil, is what he has been obsessed with in recent years, but if his café tip sounds out of date today, it’s because coffee bulls are motivated more by millennial habits than Brazilian downpours. It is these insatiable youngsters, gulping the dark stimulant in gulp-inducing volumes, who are behind the current global surge in demand for coffee.
Emerging markets are in the spotlight for this. According to a Bloomberg report, coffee consumption in Indonesia has more than doubled in the past decade, thanks largely to millennials. Indian consumption might follow the same pattern. As of now, India is predominantly a tea-loving country, with coffee a part of the daily routine only in the south. But globalization has made coffee hot—or cool, rather—among globally-exposed millennials. Records show a 40% increase in coffee demand over the past decade. According to a survey done by Euromonitor, around 66% of India’s millennials prefer coffee over tea. Meanwhile, there is no denying the rise of a café culture, with coffee shops serving as a place to hang out with buddies or flip open a laptop for work.
Coffee may never be able to outweigh tea in India, but there is little doubt that it will gain at the expense of the leafy brew. A vast age cohort is onto it.