Wednesday, August 13, 2008



COFFEE is on course to outsell tea for the first time ever in Ireland with a cosmopolitan young generation embracing lattes and cappuccinos over the traditional cuppa.

Figures show that standard tea sales are falling while coffee is enjoying a dramatic rise in popularity which is expected to see it overtake the nation's favourite drink within the next decade.

In 2001 tea was clearly still the nations favourite with sales topping EUR105million compared to a EUR60million coffee market.

This year we will buy EUR78million worth of coffee and by 2011 forecasters say the industry will be worth EUR82million.

But while coffee is tickling our taste buds, a traditional cup of milky tea is proving to be a real turn off and sales are expected to be down to EUR89million within the next four years.

Young consumers who see coffee as a more sophisticated choice are fuelling the market and an influx of New York style coffee chains, like Starbucks, have boosted sales.

A new report shows that we consumed almost 4,500 tonnes of coffee last year while tea was left increasingly on the shelf.

It states: "Tea, with its genteel, unhurried and reactionary image is increasingly losing consumers to coffee. Image and lifestyle choices in Ireland are more important than ever, with the accent firmly on youth, sophistication and fast living.

"Ireland is traditionally a tea-drinking nation. However, the rapid transformation of the Irish economy over the last few years and the increased globalisation and convenience culture this has engendered has led to a fundamental and growing change in consumer tastes."

The boom in Irish coffee drinking over the last decade, has, it states, been fuelled by an 80 per cent growth in specialist coffee shops since 2001.

Cappuccino is the nation's favourite variety of coffee but mocha and latte are due to become more popular over the coming years as more consumers opt for specialised brews.

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