Coffee remains Colombia's drink of choice, beating tea
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Coffee remains Colombia's drink of choice, beating tea

Despite tea consumption beginning to creep up in Colombia during the past five years, coffee firmly remains the hot drink of choice.

A report from pollsters Euromonitor, found that coffee makes up nearly two-thirds of hot drinks consumption across Latin America. But it is tea that is forecasted be the fastest growing hot drinks category.

Herbal and fruit teas, it is predicted, will make up the bulk of tea sales across the region, as consumers become more interested in health and wellness concerns and the use of traditional fruits and herbs.

According to the report, Latin America was the fastest growing region for hot drinks retail during the review period (2008-2013) and it is expected to remain so, as sales increased by 26 percent or almost $4.8 billion between 2013 and 2018.

Put the kettle on

Colombia’s coffee retail market (supermarkets and shops) is 82 times bigger than that for tea, El Tiempo reports.

Colombians rank fourth place amongst Latin America’s tea drinkers, at 349.2 cups of tea per inhabitant, beaten by Brazil (780 cups), Costa Rica (535.4 cups) and the Dominican Republic (391.7 cups).

“Coffee growing countries see tea as a premium product, general used by niche consumers or high-income consumers,”Andrés Musalem, a Euromonitor analyst commented.

Although Colombians drink other hot beverages, coffee rules supreme, preferred by 74 percent, whereas tea is only chosen by two percent of drinkers. The remaining 24 percent choose other hot drinks – such as hot chocolate.

Instant preference

But despite the wide variety of coffee on offer in Colombia, many consumers buy instant granules, as fresh coffee remains out of their price range.

Around 68 percent of coffee drunk is fresh, with 32 percent corresponding to instant coffee.

More good news too for Colombia’s coffee chain Juan Valdez, which opened its first store in 2002. During the first quarter of 2015, the firm reported earnings over 97 billion pesos ($32,000), a 25 percent increase from 2014.

The company opened up 16 new stores during the first quarter, raising the total number of stores to 322 globally.

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