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Why coffee prices are rising in French cafés and self-service machines

Coffee production has been impacted by a poor bean harvest in South America, among other global factors

The price of coffee is rising in French cafés and at self-service machines Pic: baranq / Shutterstock

The price of your cup of coffee from a French café or self-service machines is likely to rise or have already risen recently, both because of surging inflation and as a result of a poor harvest in South America. 

Over the last year, the cost of arabica coffee beans has risen by 39.2%, with one Paris distributor telling BFMTV: “We have increased the price of our coffees by 10-15%.

“I have never known this before! We have never raised our prices in the last five years, but now we don’t have a choice.” 

This increase has been caused in part by a long period of freezing temperatures and floods in Brazil – the biggest coffee producer in the world – which destroyed up to 30% of the coffee bean harvest in some regions.

The cost of transporting the beans across the Atlantic has also risen from €3,000 on average per container to €7,000, because of high demand and continued disruption to the shipping industry initially caused by Covid lockdowns.

A proportion of this inflation will be passed on to the consumer in the form of a five centime increase in prices at the average self-service coffee machine, with cafés deciding how to deal with their rising costs on an individual basis.

“In the context of widespread overinflation, managers are finding themselves in an uncomfortable, even dangerous situation,” said Yoann Chuffart, director-general of the Fédération nationale de vente et services automatiques.

“They are enduring the rise in prices without being able to immediately and easily pass them on to the eventual consumer.” 

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