Kiwi coffee drinkers are being reassured international price
hikes will not affect the cost of their daily cuppa, with
industry experts expecting local suppliers to weather a
recent spike in the cost of coffee beans.
Costs for the beans have shot up by about 20 per cent in the
last two weeks, after speculation drought conditions in
Brazil - the world's leading Arabica bean supplier - could
lead to a shortage in good-quality beans.
Despite this, New Zealand's coffee market gurus believe most
local suppliers have sufficiently buffered themselves against
the hike in bean costs.
Savings made over the last year, where the price of coffee
beans basically halved, were not really passed on to coffee
drinkers, OMF commodities broker Tim Kronfeld said.
"With the strength of the Kiwi dollar, coffee prices aren't
likely to move much, simply because the real discounts have
already passed through.
"There's a fair amount of that [price increase] the
wholesaler will be able to absorb," he said.
Meanwhile, industry insiders have also said New Zealand's
preference for high-quality coffee has aided in keeping local
prices relatively stable.
At the moment, most people pay anything between $3.50 and
about $5 for a barista-made coffee. Those after plunger
coffee, would probably spend about $8 at the supermarket for
a 250g bag.
Havana Coffee managing director Geoffrey Marsland said it
wasn't uncommon for local suppliers to purchase beans well
above the standard market price because of the type and the
"I've been in the business 25 years and I've seen it [price
changes] come and go before. I don't think the consumers
going to get it, because it's gone from a very low price to a
Beans used by Havana Coffee were basically twice the cost of
the "New York C" (standard price), Mr Marsland said.
"People in New Zealand are so spoilt for the coffee. People
that like coffee drink good coffee and they know where
they're going to get it. They're very habitual."
New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association president Carl Sara,
who also founded the Crafted Coffee Company, said the recent
price increase was "manageable".
The premium costs paid by coffee bean buyers - who wanted to
ensure quality, sustainability and traceability of their
beans - had held steady, however other expenses had to be
factored in to the price of a a barista-made coffee.
These included milk costs, cafe overheads and staff wages, Mr
A spokesperson from the Countdown supermarket chain said
there had been no indication of a possible rise in coffee
prices from their suppliers.
However, "the price for coffee does fluctuate depending on
what global factors may be affecting the countries where
coffee is produced".
Both the Countdown spokesperson and a representative from
rival supermarket company Foodstuffs said the low commodity
price of coffee last year had not resulted in in-store coffee
specials becoming more common.
- By Teuila Fuatai of APNZ