Consumer Products

Is the Rise of Starbucks Driving Global Coffee Consumption Growth?

Coffee consumption is expected to rise in 2016, but not via the path you might have guessed. The International Coffee Organization is showing that the United States will lead the gains. Consumption is now expected to reach 152.1 million bags in 2015, versus 2014’s demand of 150.3 million. Demand from the previously never-ending growth of the European Union has stagnated.

Is it possible that this is being fueled by the never-ending growth at Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX)?

The International Coffee Organization Blog detailed in a recent article:

Our initial estimate of world coffee consumption in calendar year 2015 comes to 152.1 million bags, up from 150.3 million in 2014, but a slightly more modest increase than in recent years. The average annual growth rate over the last four years remains at a healthy 2%. Demand in the world’s largest consumer, the European Union, has stagnated slightly at an estimated 42 million bags, averaging growth of 0.8% per year since 2012, but the USA continues to show an increased appetite for coffee, increasing by an average rate of 3.2% to an estimated 24.4 million bags. Japan also continues to expand, averaging 2.4% growth to 7.6 million bags. As a result, total consumption in all importing countries is estimated at 104.9 million bags.

Even recently analysts have pointed at this as well. Starbucks was started as Buy at Nomura on February 18, with a price target of $70.00. That Friday’s closing price was $57.67, implying upside of roughly 21% at that time. The firm noted that the key driver here is Starbucks’ high customer frequency, which is about the best of them all in America. A potential gain in market share was also cited.

Shares of Starbucks closed trading at $58.70 on Friday, with a consensus analyst price target of $68.26 and a 52-week trading range of $42.05 to $64.00.