Taiwan - Coffee Taiwan - Coffee
OverviewAs Taiwan’s coffee-drinking culture continues to grow, coffee sales are expected to rise at a rapid pace. The international success of contestants like Berg Wu and Chad Wang, who won the 2016 World Barista Competition and 2017 World Brewer’s Cup respectively, has fueled Taiwan’s local coffee industry and given baristas immediate exposure to the latest coffee trends and techniques. Coffee is widely available via multiple retail channels, including international coffee franchises and specialty coffee cafés. Convenience stores serve coffee in paper cups 24 hours a day.
In 2018, Taiwan imported $235 million worth of coffee beans, a nearly 20 percent increase over the previous year. Roasted coffee beans and green beans enjoyed approximately 40 percent and 60 percent of the total imported coffee market respectively. The United States is expected to maintain its leading position in Taiwan’s imported roasted coffee sector, where it held more than 45 percent market share by value with approximately $32 million in roasted coffee exports. Other major roasted coffee suppliers are Japan, Malaysia, Italy and Switzerland. In the green bean sub-sector, Indonesia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Colombia, and Guatemala are the top five suppliers, producing more than 80 percent of the green coffee beans imported to Taiwan. Taiwan’s total coffee import value is expected to continue growing over the next five years.
|Top Five Importing Countries|
Roasted Coffee Beans vs. Green Coffee Beans
US$ million/ market share
US$ million/ market share
|Roasted Coffee Beans|
|1||U.S.||15.9 / 33.4%||26.7/36.3%||32.3 / 45.84%|
|2||Japan||9.9 / 20.1%||10.8 / 14.7%||15.2 / 21.5%|
|3||Malaysia||10.8 / 22.6%||7.3 / 10%||8.6 / 12.2%|
|4||Italy||5 / 10.5%||5.9 / 8%||6 / 8.5%|
|5||Switzerland||2.2/4.5%||2.3 / 3.1%||2.5 / 3.5%|
|Green Coffee Beans|
|1||Indonesia||17.7 / 18.1%||19.8 / 17.3%||19.3 / 17.9%|
|2||Brazil||17.9 / 18.4%||19.7 / 17.1%||18.6 / 17.1%|
|3||Ethiopia||10 / 10.3%||17.3 / 15%||14.1 / 13%|
|4||Columbia||10 / 10.4%||13.2 / 11.5%||13.5 / 12.6%|
|5||Guatemala||10.5 / 10.8%||12.7 / 11.1%||12.5 / 11.6%|
Taiwan’s local coffee production is limited due to restricted arable land and relatively high labor costs. As a result, Taiwan relies on imports because local coffee production currently meets only 15 percent of total demand. Most locally-produced coffee is consumed or purchased by visitors to coffee farms or to producing-region tourist shops, with only the smaller part of production sold at a higher price as a rare local specialty.
Coffee Market Unit: USD thousands
|Total Market Size||$197,724||$291,188||$230,670||$235,000|
|Total Local Production||$23,340||$25,928||$29,184||$30,000|
|Imports from the U.S.||$18,000||$28,267||$33,538||$34,000|
|Exchange Rate: USD1||32.28||29.65||30.59||30.86|
Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)
Source: Global Trade Atlas; Taiwan Council of Agriculture; Bureau of Foreign Trade
Leading Sub-SectorsAs coffee consumption becomes a daily routine for many in Taiwan, there is a growing trend toward healthier and more natural products. Due to health concerns over high sugar content and the use of artificial additives in ready-to-drink coffee, Taiwan consumers’ tastes increasingly favor additive-free and freshly-brewed coffee. There is also a growing preference for unsweetened, non-dairy-based, and high-quality instant coffee.
As local coffee-drinking culture develops, consumers increasingly opt to make high-quality, freshly-brewed coffee at home. In recent years, higher levels of consumer sophistication has generated additional demand for fresh coffee beans and fresh ground coffee. At the same time, novelty products like drip-bag coffee have experienced a rapid rise in popularity. Booming demand for cold-brewed coffee in Western countries is expected to play out in Taiwan in the near future.
OpportunitiesTaiwan’s robust coffee-drinking culture and lifestyle present great opportunities for U.S. roasted coffee exporters. Given Taiwan’s limited local production capacity, Taiwan will continue to source from overseas. The United States is in a prime position to continue meeting demand, especially in the roasted coffee category. Taiwan importers express high levels of interest in purchasing high-quality U.S. coffee beans, especially Hawaiian Kona varieties. The recent popularity of American roasted coffee has generated further interest among importers for opportunities to learn more about the U.S. coffee industry.
According to the Taiwan Coffee Association, Taiwan’s coffee industry still has growth potential, as Taiwan consumers on average drink only 125 cups of coffee per year, far less than the global benchmark of 200 cups of coffee consumed per capita.
Given the trend in Taiwan toward busier lifestyles, making a quick stop for coffee during the work commute is now commonplace, and convenience is an increasingly influential factor affecting consumers’ coffee-purchasing decisions. For example, 7-11, Taiwan’s biggest convenience store chain, sold about 300 million cups of coffee in 2018 and expects continuing sales growth.
ATO Taipei strongly recommends that U.S. exporters exhibit in the USA Pavilion at the Taipei International Food Show, which is the most influential trade show in the food industry in Taiwan. USA Pavilion exhibitors receive on-site consultation services from ATO Taipei. U.S. suppliers are also encouraged to take advantage of the “American Food Festival”, an in-store promotion opportunity arranged by ATO Taipei and local retail outlets to promote U.S. food and agricultural products.
Web ResourcesThe Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) website offers the following resources for U.S. exporters:
- Official data on agriculture trade for specific products and commodities
- GAIN Reports on international food and agricultural markets
- FAS services for U.S. exporters and information on USDA market development programs
- The USDA website lists current agricultural export requirements for Taiwan.
For additional information on the Taiwan market for food and agricultural products or to exhibit in the USA Pavilion at the Taipei International Food Show, please contact AIT's Agricultural Trade Office at: ATOTaipei@fas.usda.gov.Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.