Coffee Shortage Incoming

The demand for coffee is outgrowing supply by nearly 66 million pounds.

December 10, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Coffee consumption is outpacing production by about 502,000 bags, according to the International Coffee Organization. Americans are drinking nearly 400 million cups of coffee per day, but unfavorable weather and low international prices are causing the sustainability of the supply to decline.

Food Dive reports that the increased demand is due to consumers drinking coffee throughout the day, rather than the beverage remaining a morning staple. It’s seen as an experience-driven occasion, as meetings and social engagements now are taken at coffee shops. In fact, about 64% of U.S. adults drank coffee each day in 2018—up 2% from the prior year, according to a Reuters article.

This concern for sustainability isn’t new. In 2011, Starbucks’ sustainability director said that climate change was threatening the world’s supply. Reports about Brazil’s supply was declining due to drought. In fact, a report from The Climate Institute of Australia says that half of the world's coffee growing regions will be lost by 2050 if climate change remains unchecked.

However, manufacturers are already on top of the game. Companies are researching alternatives, some of which don’t even use beans at all or use sunflower seed husks instead of coffee grounds. In the meantime, as coffee supplies decline, prices will likely increase.