Coffee pricier but better

Drinking coffee in a café or restaurant is becoming more expensive as a result of new trends

5 November 2014

The price of a cup of coffee has increased by 4.7% over the last two years, as a result of the trend for drinking higher quality coffee.

The average price of a ‘petit noir’, bought from a distributor, work canteen, cafe, restaurant, hotel or at the ‘zinc’ in a local bar is now €1.56.

Cafeteria coffee has seen the biggest rise, increasing by 9.68% since 2012, followed by 7.7% at coffee machines and take away coffees, at 4%.

While the difference in prices between small and large towns has reduced, the largest disparity is found in the prices in hotels in towns with a population of more than 50,000: the average cost of a coffee in Paris hotel is €3.75, three times that of one in Limoges, at €1.28.

There is a big difference in the price at coffee machines from just 70 centimes in Corsica up to €1.15 in Ile-de-France, Basse-Normandie, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Aquitaine and Limousin.

While coffee is the most popular drink in France after water with 80% drinking it at home - mostly roasted (84.5%) or instant (15.5%) – there is a trend for drinking it away from home, said Bernard Boutboul, of Gira Conseil, the marketing company that conducted the survey.

“Drinking coffee out of the home is on the rise thanks to innovations such as gourmet coffee, grand cru coffees or the baristas who are true coffee sommeliers.”

Prices are on the up as consumers are increasingly drinking coffee for pleasure rather than out of habit, and they are prepared to pay more for higher quality coffee, he said. There is an increase in the range of high quality coffees being marketed as a prestige drink, along the same lines as wine, he said. “Prices are unusually high, knowing that inflation is lower and that the price of raw materials has not rocketed.”

Surprisingly the French come just 17th in the world in terms of annual coffee consumption with 5.47kg per head, compared to Finland where residents quaff 12kg a year.

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