Companies in this industry roast coffee, blend tea, and manufacture coffee and tea concentrates. Major companies include US producers Farmer Bros, Keurig Green Mountain, JM Smucker (owner of Folgers), and Kraft Heinz (owner of Maxwell House), as well as Nestlé (Switzerland), Tata Global Beverages (India), and Unilever, the UK-based owner of Lipton.
World coffee production is about 9 million metric tons per year. Top producers include Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, and Indonesia. Tea production is about five million metric tons. Leading tea producing countries include China, India, Kenya, and Sri Lanka.
The US coffee and tea manufacturing industry includes about 400 companies with combined annual revenue of about $13 billion. Key growth challenges include volatile raw ingredient prices and intense competition in the beverage industry.
Consumer tastes and disposable income drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on effectively managing raw ingredient costs, efficient operations, and effective marketing. Large companies have scale advantages in purchasing, distribution, manufacturing, and marketing. Small companies can compete effectively by offering specialized products or serving a local market. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top 50 companies generate about 90% of revenue.
Imports of roasted coffee and tea are 15% of the US market; exports are about 10% of US production. Part of the international export market is instant coffee. The US is the world’s top coffee-consuming nation and the largest importer of green coffee beans.
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