NZ has had a natural affinity for tea from its time as a British colony and later member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Some may be surprised to learn that the country is in the Top 20 for the number of coffee drinkers per capita, ahead of nations like Australia and even the United States. It’s also credited with creating the “flat white” (don’t tell the Australians).
While major corporations like as Nestlé and Jacobson Douw Egberts presently dominate the sector, there are a number of smaller local firms that are manufacturing high-quality coffee products at a lower cost than their foreign rivals. Many New Zealanders choose these local brands not just because of their lower prices and better flavour, but also because of their more personalised service and the opportunity to readily monitor these firms’ claims of being organic and fair trade.
In terms of coffee shops and producing excellent baristas, the sector is likewise highly competitive. It’s not unusual for customers to have a favourite “place” where they get their morning coffee.
There has been a dramatic increase in the purchasing of coffee machines for home use, according to recent trends in the coffee retail sector. The influence of Covid-19 is linked to this rise, as many customers are unable to attend a local coffee shop and/or cannot pay coffee shop costs. Fresh ground coffee capsules are the most popular at-home alternative. While this may have been a concern just a few years ago owing to the waste and lack of biodegradability of such pods, the fact that many firms now provide recyclable pods has helped to enhance their appeal.
NZ’s coffee sector is alive and thriving in what was once a powerful tea-drinking nation, and it may prove to be a vital contribution to the country’s economy in the years ahead.