Taiwan is a fast-growing consumer market for coffee and magnet for new brands, large and small. Weighing in at nearly US$ 2.7 billion in sales annually and per capita spending of US$ 112 the demand for caffeinated bean-based brews is well-established with lots of room to grow. The medium-term outlook is particularly bright with an estimated near 7% CAGR through 2025 according to Statista, a research firm.
Having weathered the pandemic better than almost every other market globally and with already high disposable incomes, consumer demand remains buoyant even by the standards of Asia’s high growth. Taiwan’s government is also investing in ever-better distribution infrastructure, inking free trade agreements, and making it clear generally that Taiwan is open to do business with the world.
Although convenience remains king, with ready-to-drink coffee beverages taking the single largest share of coffee sales in Taiwan, at-home brewing and single-serve options—such as pods—are increasing in popularity. Even in the RTD and instant coffee sectors consumers are both upgrading to more expensive options and diversifying their buying habits. Many, particularly younger, consumers are plumping for pour over coffee using premium single origin beans or new and novel styles of coffee.
Major international brands, such as Starbucks and Nestle, remain major players in the market yet they and other big brands and begun to relinquish market share to local and foreign upstarts alike as younger consumers (those under 40) push away from the staid options typical of their parents’ generation. This is opening up more and growing opportunities for new, small, medium, and niche brands alike with unique branding or other strong selling points to push into the market.
Often overlooked given its place between markets making more headlines, such as Mainland China, or those already well-known to coffee brands, such as Japan and Korea, Taiwan is a high-growth consumer market for coffee in its own right with excellent long-term potential for brands willing and able to get in on the ground floor and make the investment needed to build the brand—and sales—locally.