March 15, 2021: Coffee roasters facing higher shipping costs & other news

MTPak Coffee
March 15, 2021
roaster news roundup

Bringing specialty coffee roasters the latest news stories from around the world, including packaging innovations, consumer trends, and coffee industry updates.

Feb 19 – PGE announces $105,000 donation for “Gender Equity Index” (Daily Coffee News)

Nonprofit Partnership for Gender Equity (PGE) has received $105,000 from a group of private companies to develop its “Gender Equity Index” for the coffee and cocoa industries. The index is a tool that will benefit organisations already engaged in gender equity initiatives to make more informed decisions. According to the group, the aim is to provide “a shared language about gender-equitable capacity-building at origin”.

Feb 23 – Global leader names Illy one of 2021’s most ethical companies (PR Newswire)

The Ethisphere Institute has added Italian coffee company Illy to its list of most ethical companies for 2021. It joins 134 other companies recognised for a commitment to business integrity based on five weighted categories, including governance, culture of ethics, and environmental impact. The honorees span 22 countries and nearly 50 industries, from healthcare and agriculture, to energy and telecoms.

Feb 26 – World of Coffee trade show cancelled due to Covid-19 (World of Coffee)

The 2021 World of Coffee (WOC) trade show set to take place in Athens this June has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The annual event, which includes workshops, lectures, tasting rooms, and design labs, welcomes visitors from more than 80 countries and provides an opportunity for coffee professionals to learn about the latest developments in the industry. Registered attendees are advised to check their inboxes for more information.

Feb 27 – Coffee prices at end of February surpass 2020 highs (Forbes)

Adverse weather conditions in Brazil and Vietnam have caused coffee prices to rise above 2020 peaks. Private traders and analysts are anticipating a drop in the global coffee surplus that both the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and International Coffee Organization (ICO) had projected in their latest official estimates.

Mar 1 – Barista champion’s packaging experiment supports recyclable coffee bags (

Recyclable coffee bags are the best for preserving the characteristics of coffee, according to research by Nicole Battefeld. The 2018 German Barista champion conducted a series of tests on different types of coffee packaging to see how they influenced the same batch of Colombian bourbon coffee. The experiment, which was published on a blog post on her website, blind tested qualities such as sweetness, body, and acidity 18 days after roasting. Out of three pouches (recyclable, biodegradable, and brown paper with foil lining), the recyclable bag was declared overall winner.

Mar 1 – Boost builds on RTD range with caramel latte addition (Better Retailing)

Energy drinks supplier Boost has added a caramel latte-flavoured ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee to its range of offerings. The latest addition follows the success of the company’s Caffe Latte and Double Espresso beverages, which launched in 2020. The market for RTD iced coffee has grown significantly in recent years, with estimates putting its value at £25.6 million in the UK alone. Within the iced coffee category, caramel latte is the second-largest flavour segment with a 21% market share.

Mar 3 – Green coffee analysis given AI boost (Daily Coffee News)

Demetria, the first artificial-intelligence-powered software as a service (SaaS) start-up for the coffee supply chain, has closed a $3 million seed-funding round. Its green coffee quality analysis system, which involves the scanning of green coffee beans with a handheld device, is set to drive efficiency, transparency, and sustainability throughout the supply chain. It works by shining wavelengths of near-infrared light onto green coffee, which interact with different organic compounds inside the bean.

Mar 4 – Global instant coffee market growth predicted by latest report (PR Newswire)

The instant coffee market is expected to grow by $8.88 billion between 2020 and 2024, according to the “Instant Coffee Market by Product and Geography – Forecast and Analysis 2020-2024”. The report, which has recently been added to the offerings of market research firm Technavio, predicts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% during the forecasted period. It reveals that one of the key drivers for this market will be new product launches.

Mar 5 – US roasters facing higher shipping costs in 2021 (World Coffee Portal)

Coffee roasters in the United States have been told to expect higher domestic and international shipping costs this year, a report by Reuters says. A combination of high consumer demand and erratic international shipping patterns due to Covid-19 have pushed up the cost of shipping. The report cites data that suggests US businesses faced $10 billion in additional freight costs in the final quarter of 2020.

Mar 5 – Pret seeks creative partner for global digital strategy (World Coffee Portal)

UK sandwich and coffee shop chain Pret A Manger is seeking a creative partner to help develop its omni-channel presence across Europe, Asia, and the US. A sharp decline in traditional in-store sales during the pandemic has prompted the search for a partner that can provide “digital creative expertise and end-to-end customer journeys”. The brand’s diversification strategy hit headlines in September 2020 with the launch of its own coffee subscription service “YourPret Barista”.

Mar 8 – Compostable coffee pods set sustainability benchmark (Food Business News)

US-based Smile Beverage Werks has released a range of commercially compostable K-cup coffee pods. Made from renewable plant-based materials, the pods are carbon neutral and work in both Keurig and Nespresso machines. The company was founded in 2019 with a goal to reduce the amount of plastic and aluminium coffee pods going to landfill.

Mar 9 – Covid-19 sets back UK coffee shop growth (World Coffee Portal)

Covid-19 disruption to coffee shops has wiped an estimated £2 billion off the market value of some of the UK’s largest branded chains, reversing seven years of growth. According to Project Café UK 2021, the impact of ongoing restrictions to businesses, including takeaway-only trading, have contributed to a sharp decline in sales. A fall in the number of commuters in city centres and train stations is also to blame. The report forecasts a return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.

Mar 10 – Cropster releases pioneering AI first crack predictor (Press release)

Roaster software company Cropster has announced the launch of an AI-based first crack predictor that will allow roasters to see the temperature curve up to two minutes in the future. The software enables roasters to “roast ahead of the curve”, with the aim of achieving consistent roast profiles in a shorter space of time. Cropster AI solutions work with any coffee roasting machine that connects to Cropster.

Mar 11 – UK coffee chain on the lookout for sustainability chief (Food Service Equipment Journal)

Coffee chain Costa Coffee has revealed it is recruiting for a Sustainability Lead to guide its strategy across the UK and Ireland. It comes after head of environment, Oliver Rosevear, announced his decision to seek challenges elsewhere. The new Sustainability Lead will manage a programme of initiatives focused on community, climate, and circular economy.

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