Thanks a latte, Millennials — you’re drinking away the world’s coffee supply.
Global demand for java is percolating at an all-time high. But the coffee supply can’t meet the demand — and Americans under 35 are to blame, according to a Bloomberg market analysis.
The new report notes that young U.S. adults make up 44% of the country’s coffee drinkers, and they’re jonesing for a cup of joe earlier and earlier. In just eight years through 2016, daily coffee consumption rose from 34% to 48% among 18 to 24-years-olds, and jumped from 51% to 60% for those ages 25 to 39, according to the National Coffee Association in New York.
This doesn’t just outpace the older Americans who are laying off the caffeine, but also the world’s coffee crop in general. A shortage is brewing as a drought in Brazil, the world’s biggest producer and exporter, has threatened to dry up the bean supply.
And a recent Climate Institute report warned that half of the world’s coffee growing regions could disappear by 2050, because the “bean belt” of equatorial countries including Brazil, Ethiopia, Colombia, Vietnam and Indonesia has suffered from rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns. Factors like coffee rust and increasing fertilizer prices have also hurt the coffee crop and raised the price of your daily cup. The cost of popular arabica beans is at its highest ($1.655 a pound) since 2015.
The Bloomberg report notes that Brazilian coffee plants can recover with more rain, and beans coming from Peru and Honduras can help meet demand.
Coffee is just the latest staple facing extinction, because Millennials. Although in the case of cold cereal, bars of soap, Big Macs and underwire bras, the younger generation is killing them off by snubbing them — not using them up.