Greek Financial Crisis Brings Drastic Change STiR Coffee Tea Industry International magazine

“u00d7 Expand okalinichenko – Fotolia Greece painting of Cafe World on island of Santorini
Greeks retain their enthusiasm for coffee in a turbulent market.
By Alf Kramer
A word of advice to decision makers diving deeper into the Green coffee market: Whatever you thought you knew has changed.
The economic recession has fundamentally altered the way that Greeks entertain themselves by encouraging them to focus more on price and product quality. This affects how they view cafes and specialty coffee shops.
u201cDemand for coffee-based beverages remains high, and the focus on product quality applies very much to coffee,u201d according to the Euromonitor report: Coffee in Greece. u201cIn light of this, Greek consumers have increasingly been turning away from bars and nightclubs towards cafes and specialty coffee shops, while gradually shifting towards neighborhood outlets and takeaway options as ways to reduce their spending,u201d writes Euromonitor.
The turbulent Greek coffee market was never easy to understand because in Greece the traditional laws of supply and demand do not apply in every market segment.
A brief history
Greece is the model for democracy. Some economists say that Greek governance is malfunctioning so badly that the country is on the brink of becoming a failed democracy. Wave upon wave of market disruptions in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007-08 has resulted in 25% unemployment (60% among the nationu2019s youth). It will take a generation for the country to grow the economy out of the Greek depression yet many segments of the coffee market escaped that turbulence.
To understand the almost inelastic demand it is helpful to recall that the Turkish Ottomans were uninvited guests for 400 years, begi
ing around 1350. Athens fell in 1458. The Ottomans introduced Greeks to roasting, brewing, and enjoying coffee both in their homes and in public. The first coffee houses were well established 300 years before they appeared in London and some 700 years before retailers along the U.S. west coast built their first u201ccoffee bars.u201d The coffee legacy remained when the Ottomanu2019s retreated.
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To the Greeks enjoying coffee is not just a national habit, it is a virtue u2014 a virtue so strong that it has become a source of national pride and heritage. Greeks drink coffee three to five times a day in small quantities. The Greek love of coffee is so strong it explains why some segments of the coffee market were harder hit during the financial crises.
Growing value and volume”

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