Asia has not historically been a major coffee drinking region, but this is changing—and fast. Consumption is increasing across the region with a handful of countries leading the way.
Japan still leads with the coffee sales worth $34.45 billion in 2020 and growth remains steady. China is already the second largest coffee market ($14.25 billion), recently overtaking South Korea ($12.6B), and enjoying near double digit year-on-year growth. Long-term demand is set to grow for years to come, potentially rivaling America as the largest consumer market for coffee globally.
Indonesia, now a major producer of coffee beans, is itself taking to coffee—both locally produced and imported. Given the size of its population, room for economic growth, and a CAGR of nearly 11% in coffee sales, it will soon overtake South Korea as well and going head-to-head with China as the biggest coffee drinkers.
In Taiwan convenience is king. With a CAGR of 7.31% and increased demand for fresher coffees and a personalized drinking experience, it is a well-rounded high-growth market for coffee brands of all types. Clear regulations and an openness to free trade rivaled only by Singapore and Hong Kong—Taiwan is an often-overlooked gem and attractive opportunity for coffee brands looking to expand and boost sales abroad.
Consumers in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau—already accustomed to sipping a hot cup in the morning—remain excellent markets for any coffee brands offering high-quality, novelty, or both. In many ways convenience is at a premium in these fast-paced global cities. With incomes among the highest in the world, this also means more coffee enthusiasts are willing able to buy premium single-serve coffee options such as pour-over and pods (e.g. Nespresso). Far from being saturated, these coffee markets are still enjoying annual growth of over 5%
Malaysia, more populous than Taiwan yet similarly wealthy as China, is an often-overlooked opportunity for coffee brands in Asia. Situated next Singapore, English-speaking, and enjoying nearly 7% growth in coffee sales annually, its $1.1 billion market has considerable room for growth and an openness to new brands.
The future for coffee in Asia is bright. Growing opportunities for foreign brands in the region are not limited to entry level convenience coffees or hyper-premium offerings; demand is growing across all categories. In markets where brand loyalties and preferences are less entrenched—such as China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia—new or niche brands have a golden opportunity to make an impression and win a profitable share of the market. Across Asia doors are popping up for any and all coffee brands to open and grow their business in the region.