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International Coffee Day - Why Is It Big Business?

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International Coffee Day - Why Is It Big Business?

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When is International Coffee Day
Coffee is big business. You just have to look at the creations of coffee pioneers such as Starbucks founder Howard Schultz or Tim Hortons founder Miles Gilbert Horton. 
In both cases, these coffee entrepreneurs were able to build thriving restaurant chains centered around coffee. Both businesses continue to this day, with international footprints. 
As the world marks International Coffee Day on October 1st of each year, international recognition of coffee unites retailers with coffee growers around the world.
Why International Coffee Day Matters
Coffee now constitutes a $100 billion dollar industry according to a GlobalEdge report. Coffee’s importance makes International Coffee Day a vital one not just for coffee retailers, but millions of coffee drinkers around the world as well.
While there are many “National Coffee Day” holidays around the world, International Coffee Day on October 1st is relatively young. The event only began in 2015. 
On the event website, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) notes that 77 member countries agreed to mark International Coffee Day on this date. These nations include important coffee producers such as Indonesia and Brazil.
How to Celebrate International Coffee Day
  • To celebrate, the ICO recommends ideas such as:
  • Hosting a coffee event at your home or a coffee shop
  • Running a coffee masterclass
  • Share a coffee video on social media with the hashtag #InternationalCoffeeDay
There is a ready audience from everyday coffee drinkers who will be receptive to learning more about International Coffee Day.
Promoting Your Coffee Products on International Coffee Day
If you are a coffee retailer, then International Coffee Day is directly relevant to your trade. You can prepare ahead of time and use the day to boost sales of your coffee or coffee-related accessories.
Below are some recommendations for promoting your products on International Coffee Day.
Coffee Discounts and Coupons
On International Coffee Day, coffee drinkers are in a festive mood and looking, naturally, to drinking more coffee. Offering a discount code around the day is a natural move that should be popular with both your existing customers and prospective customers.

As noted in Chron, discounts serve not only to raise sales, but can also boost your store’s reputation with the target market. For example, offering a discount for the elderly can boost your reputation among the elderly, same with offering a discount to veterans.
In the days leading up to International Coffee Day, you could offer a “buy one get one free” or similar discount for heavy coffee drinkers. 
You can use similar types of discounts whether your business is a brick and mortar coffee retailer, ecommerce coffee store, or a local coffee shop.
What if I Don’t Sell Coffee?
While it’s easy to think of International Coffee Day as only benefitting coffee retailers, nothing could be further from the truth. Even if your products have nothing to do with coffee or the coffee industry, creative guerilla marketing can help you attract the attention of coffee drinkers.
For example, if you run a tech and gadgets store, you could offer a Starbucks gift card to buyers of your most popular tech gadget around International Coffee Day. You could also serve a complimentary cup of coffee in recognition of International Coffee Day
While this might not have as dramatic an effect on your sales as it might for a coffee shop, it generates buzz and you can be sure the serious coffee drinkers will love it.
Similar marketing tactics can be used by all kinds of retailers, from fashion retailers all the way to furniture and toy retailers.
How the International Coffee Industry Works
The impact of coffee globally extends to every corner of the globe, making coffee a common element across cultures and economies. The coffee industry has a unique international supply chain that involves producers and suppliers, starting with farming it all the way to consuming it. 
25 Million Farmers
According to the Fairtrade Foundation, there are over 25 million smallholder farmers of coffee across the world. These smallholder farmers account, apparently, for over 80% of total coffee production.
Data from the US Department of Agriculture indicates that annual coffee production amounts to a total of around 169 million bags (of 60 kilograms each). This puts the total weight at approximately 1,140.00 million tons.
Important Coffee Growing Nations
While coffee production is an international affair, the distribution is heavily skewed towards a few traditional leaders. These important coffee growers include:
  • Brazil - the leader, with around 34% of total coffee production
  • Vietnam - in second place with approximately 18% of the total
  • Colombia - 9%
  • Indonesia - 8%
  • Ethiopia - 5%
  • Honduras - 4%
  • India - 4%
Other notable coffee growing nations include Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.
The Nations That Drink the Most Coffee
In contrast to coffee production, which has its center of gravity in South American nations, coffee consumption is heaviest in European nations. 
World Atlas lists the following countries as the heaviest coffee drinking nations on a capita basis:
  • Finland - 12 kg per capita
  • Norway - 9.9kg per capita
  • Iceland - 9kg per capita
  • Denmark - 8.7kg per capita
  • Netherlands - 8.4kg per capita
On an absolute basis, the nations that consume the most amount of coffee tend to be some of the most populous countries. 
These countries lead the way in absolute consumption of coffee as measured by the 60kg bag:
  • USA - 24 million
  • Brazil - 20 million
  • Japan - 8 million
  • Indonesia - 4 million
International Coffee Day is Good for Business 
The advent of International Coffee Day interweaves the lives of millions, if not billions, around the world. From smallholder coffee farmers in Ethiopia to coffee shop operators in Finland, everyone has a role to play in the coffee story. 
For retailers, International Coffee Day is a time to educate your buyers and share the love of the beverage. From hosting coffee workshops to running social media campaigns to connect with others who like coffee, there are multiple ways to mark the day. 
There are also ways to make the day count for the bottom line of your retail store. You can use coffee-themed discounts and offers to increase sales of your products, even if you are not a retailer of coffee itself.
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