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A look at the opportunities in SA's coffee industry

Quotes on what's driving this industry's growth


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Coffee is a growing market with Statistics SA showing that coffee shops have contributed to around 2.8 percentage points of the positive annual growth around takeaway and fast food.

There has also been a 7.1% increase in income since 2014 with growth across the country, this is according to a press release by Vida E Caffe

The South African Coffee Club (SACC) says coffee consumption and business has grown dramatically in South Africa with less than 20 roasteries ten years ago versus the just over 100 today, many of them small startups.

Here are coffee insiders’ views on SA’s changing coffee landscape and why coffee is a growth industry. 

Coffee - a growth market

"The demand for fresh coffee that is freshly brewed is on the rise. Customers want quality and are happy to pay a bit more for a good cup" – Judith Walter, co-Founder and marketing manager of Coffee Capsules Direct, an online store for coffee capsules

"There is a surge in the number of people who are drinking coffee and this is impacting on product awareness and product quality. Africa and South Africa look set to be superb spaces for growth for the coffee industry with plenty of opportunities for great providers of great coffee" - Darren Levy, CEO of Vida e Caffé, a coffee retail chain 

"Instant coffee is still very popular in South Africa, which is how the market started off" - Judith Walter

Customers are looking for convenience

"Retail is becoming increasingly competitive in South Africa and, as a result, it's becoming more about convenience as many players have both quality beans and service" - Darren Levy

"Some companies have gone for a small coffee bar inside the forecourt, such as Seattle inside Caltex and Vida e Caffé inside Shell. This way they ensure that they offer premium coffee on the move to time-starved consumers" - SACC spokesperson

"Today the coffee industry is more defined by the coffee chain selling it than the brand of coffee being used" - Geoff  Prissmanco-founder of Slo-Jo, a hot and cold beverage manufacturer

"As coffee has become as much about convenience as quality, entering the forecourts was a significant move for us. It allowed us to provide a rich coffee experience to people who wanted the flavour without the hassle. Our relationship with Shell has led to a footprint that is close to 100 stores with our 100th opening soon" – Darren Levy

Finding the differentiating factor

"The chains that invest in training and developing a real barista will reap the rewards as South African consumers become more educated on what makes a great cup of coffee" - Geoff Prissman

"The Vida e Caffé story has really evolved as we’ve introduced our baristas to the forecourts and given our customers more accessibility and variety on the back of an exceptional coffee experience. From the forecourt to the corporate office to more stores opening in South Africa, growth is most definitely on our agenda" - Darren Levy

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