Coffee at a Crossroad: 3 Industry Trends to Watch in 2019

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From functional ingredients to sustainable practices, new consumer values are transforming market trends.

The following post originally appeared in Tea & Coffee Trade Journal


The coffee industry is again going through a transformation, driven by shifting consumer values in an increasingly connected global landscape.

Today, people are using their purchasing decisions to support companies that reflect their values and introduce new innovations.

“The theme of this year’s NCA Convention [March 7-9, 2019 in Atlanta] is ‘coffee at a crossroads.’ In this time of unprecedented change, the decisions we make today as an industry will determine our direction in the years to come,” says Bill Murray, NCA President & CEO.

Here’s what to watch (and watch out for) in the year ahead:

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Boom Time for the Brazilian Coffee Industry

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Signs show that 2019 will bring even better results.

By William (Bill) Murray
President & CEO, National Coffee Association


The Brazilian coffee industry is flourishing.

The latest update from the Brazilian Coffee Exports Council (CECAFE) indicated 2018 was another bumper year for the largest producer and exporter of coffee in the world. “Statistics show that Brazil maintained its world leadership position and signs are that 2019 will bring even better results,” said Nelson Carvalhaes, Chairman of the Brazilian Exporters Coffee Council.

CECAFE’s recent update is full of interesting trends and statistics for coffee producers, connoisseurs, and consumers alike. And given Brazil’s scale in the global coffee market, updates from CECAFE always act as a useful barometer on the health of our industry overall.

Let’s take a look at the top four key takeaways:

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Coffee Gives Back: Showcase Spotlight

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Applications for the NCA 2019 Origin Charity of the Year Award are due December 10. Learn more


By William, (Bill) Murray, NCA CEO & President
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Now more than ever, our communities and neighbors could use a helping hand. In the coffee industry, our community crosses borders with our supply chain, and giving back is no longer optional.

Here at the National Coffee Association (NCA), we decided about a year ago that – rather than starting yet one more program to help others – we were uniquely positioned to help in a different way.

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Meet the Real Bill Murray

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Bill Murray speaking at the 2018 NCA Convention in Atlanta

Behind the scenes with the President & CEO of the National Coffee Association USA


William (Bill) Murray has served as President and CEO of the National Coffee Association (NCA) since 2014, following leadership positions at the Public Relations Society of America and the Motion Picture Association.

And clearly he’s kept caffeinated. In a few short years, the NCA has evolved as an organization to provide enhanced member benefits and educational opportunities, while also serving as a critical advocate on key industry issues like the Prop. 65 labeling case in California.

Here, he talks to Zach Olsen, Regional Sales Manager at Bunn USA and incoming Chair of the NCA Next Generation Council, about his career, the coffee industry, and Caddyshack.

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Forcing Unfounded Cancer Warnings On Coffee Labels Is Unconstitutional, Says Legal Expert

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Compelled speech, like censored speech, can violate the Constitution, according to legal experts.

By William “Bill” Murray, CAE, NCA President & CEO via LinkedIn

“Forcing [coffee companies] to include a cancer warning on a product that does not cause cancer plainly violates the 1st Amendment.”

So states legendary First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams (Pentagon Papers, Citizen United), in today’s Los Angeles Times Op-Ed.

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A “Common Sense” Victory For Coffee Science in California

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“Call it a victory for science — or maybe just for common sense.” – The Seattle Times


It was a good news week for  coffee science in California.

Earlier this month, OEHHA (the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment agency) proposed a plan that would exempt coffee from Prop 65 required “cancer warning labels” in California after the most recent ruling in the ongoing legislation.

The statement was met with resounding support from scientists and coffee lovers alike.

“OEHHA’s Rulemaking is supported by both the full weight of scientific evidence and law,” wrote William “Bill” Murray, NCA President and CEO, in comments filed Aug. 30. The letter commended the decision and laid out the strong case for coffee in a scientific summary signed by Dr. Mark Corey, NCA’s Director of Scientific & Government Affairs, and Dr. Alan Leviton, Consultant to the NCA Scientific Advisory Group.

Simply put, the research speaks for itself: coffee does not cause cancer.

Then this week, in a groundbreaking announcement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to Sacramento which emphatically set forth their support for this rule.

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Reading the Coffee Coverage: Longevity

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What’s right, what’s wrong, and what’s interesting.

The following article is based on this LinkedIn post by William (Bill) Murray, NCA President & CEO 


When it comes to coffee coverage in the media, a healthy dose of context (and common sense) is critical.

Take this week’s Daily Mail article, “How Six Cups of Coffee a Day Can Help You to Live Longer,” on new research from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Let’s take a look of the story, in light of the science:

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IBM’s Coffee Delivery Drones Can Predict Your Next Cup

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The drones could read social cues and biometrics to dispatch caffeine when you need it

Because this doesn’t at all sound like the beginning of a post-apocalyptic dystopia where sentient technology withholds caffeine to control the human population, your coffee may one day be delivered by drone — before you even ask.

IBM has secured a patent for a coffee-delivering drone that reads social and biological cues to know when people will need their next caffeine pick-me-ups, reports USA Today.

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