Dive Deep into the Coffee Market

By Julio Sera, INTL FCStone


One of my favorite aspects of working in the coffee trade – as opposed to markets like soybeans, precious metals or government bonds (like some of my colleagues) – is that so many people have such a direct experience with it every morning. In fact, we drink approximately 3.5 billion cups of coffee each day – equivalent to one cup each for nearly half of all the people on earth right now. That’s a lot of folks “jonesing” for “Joe.”

Stats like that ensure that I’m never at a loss for conversation starters. For example, can you name the top 10 coffee-producing countries in the world? In order?

How about the top 5 importers globally? (This one’s a bit of a trick question, which I’ll get into below.) Continue reading

What Makes The Coffee Summit Special?

Featuring Bill Murray, President, NCA (@Bill_CoffeeAssn)

[Ed. note: The following is an edited transcript from the above video]

The NCA Coffee Summit is not the usual collection of talking heads. We designed this event specifically so you can get together with your peers, hear from experts, and work on the issues that you’re facing – coming away with concrete tools that you can use.

Here are 5 things that you can take away from attending the NCA Coffee Summit:

Continue reading

It’s Time to See Millennials Differently

By Kyra Auffermann, Digital Content Manager, NCA


They’re narcissistic, delusional, and entitled.

Yet Millennials are also “increasingly acting as the agents of change in society … providing the energy, creative ideas and determination to drive reform,” according to a 2012 report from the United Nations.

…Wait – what?

“We should all be a little more like Millennials,” said Todd Metrokin, Ogilvy’s vice president of creative strategy, during his presentation “The Millennial Mind: Insights for a Smarter Brand Strategy” at the National Coffee Association’s 2014 Coffee Summit in Boston on October 30.

And he may be on to something.

This coveted 18 to 32 demographic controls 21 percent of discretionary spending in the US, which could present an exciting opportunity for the coffee industry.

According the NCA’s report, “Coffee Across Generations,” 78 percent of millennials said that they have consumed coffee within the last year – a number likely to rise as the demographic matures. Specialty coffee drinks are especially popular with this demographic, a trend supported both through market research data and the overwhelming popularity of latte art on Instagram.

So how can your brand reach the Millennial market?

The first thing to do is get out of the way.

Traditionally, brands sought to retain control over their messages, but Metrokin says that Millennials want more opportunities to engage. This requires genuine conversations versus blasting out one-way marketing messages.

Remember that the group is driven by creative ideas and the opportunity to drive change. “Millennials believe that organizations do not listen to them [and] don’t provide an opportunity to make an impact,” Metrokin explains.

The key factor in overcoming this key cultural tension is authenticity, which Metrokin defines as “people talking to people.” You need to convey a consistent set of core values while responding in a way that is relevant and speaks directly to your audience.

That means that you have to communicate with Millennials as individuals, rather than one homogenous herd.

It may seem terrifying at first. But by meeting Millennials where they are and embracing their new culture of innovation, you can position your organization to lead change and transform the future of the coffee industry.