According to a new report from Bloomberg, millennials simply gotta have their java. Great for business, you might think, except coffee supplies around the world are tightening. So if we enter into a global coffee shortage, blame the java-crazed millennials.
According to Datassential, Chicago-based researcher, 19-to-34-year-olds account for 44% of coffee consumption in the United States. The National Coffee Association in New York says that between 2008 and 2016, “daily consumption among 18 to 24-year-olds rose to 48 per cent from 34 per cent, while it climbed to 60 percent from 51 per cent among those aged 25 to 39.” In that time period, the far more selfless older generation (60+) decreased their coffee consumption, falling from 76% to 64%.
That means approximately 26.4 million coffee drinkers in the United States are over 60, 31.9 million are 25-39, and 15 million are 18-24. The olds are to blame too, but the youngs are growing while their elders shrink. Downing mug after mug of that sweet caffeinated elixir, the millennials are taking over.
Harish Sundaresh, a portfolio manager and commodities analyst, tells Bloomberg, “[Demand for coffee] has been running well above expectations, thereby tightening coffee markets significantly.”
Dry weather in Brazil, one of the world’s largest coffee providers, has slowed down the country’s production of robusta coffee, which is used to make instant coffee. Since the robusta bean is becoming increasingly rare, more companies are turning to the arabica beans, which are smoother. So maybe millennials are also to blame for instant coffee getting tastier? Or is it old people’s fault? I’m getting confused.
Regardless, millennials’ unquenchable thirst for the java is also having a cultural impact. Bloomberg interviewed a real live youth, 21-year-old Parsons student and coffee enthusiast, William Tuesca. Tuesca started drinking coffee when he was 5-years-old. He tells Bloomberg that at his art school “drinking coffee is also like a fashion symbol and an opportunity to socialise.” In my millennial experience, alcohol seems to fit that description way more, but hey, Tuesca keeps it PG and I respect that.
“Chocolate is like a paramour with whom you have good moments,” he told a Bloomberg reporter while he enjoyed (or as Bobby Finger would say, enjava-ed) a sweet sip of Starbucks. “But coffee is like the spouse or girlfriend that you want with you every day.” [Bloomberg]