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Death of the mocha man and latte lady

14 July 2020

By Ian Silvera, Account Director

You’d probably get one paperback for the price of two takeout coffees these days. 

Sure, you may vastly improve your knowledge base, making you that much smarker at work and at home, but how would you find the energy to get through the pages, how uncool would you look without sipping on gourmet coffee froth and how would you boast to your colleagues about the triple long shot mochaccino you just downed via a biodegradable straw on the way to hot yoga? 

Sadly, the Covid-19 crisis is killing off the ‘mocha man’ and ‘latte lady’ as coffee consumption is set to slump this year for the first time since 2011 as workers stay at home, according to the US Department of Agriculture. 

Commodity researcher Marex Spectron has even estimated that more than 95% of the global out-of-home coffee market was closed at one point due to virus-related lockdowns. Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee house chain, saw its store sales decline by 10% and is now, much like Canada’s favourite Tim Hortons, opening up again. 

The problem for both companies and the industry at-large will be anxiety associated with returning to the office. A survey by YouGov for HR organisation CIPD, for instance, found that more than two-fifths of UK workers were worried about returning. 

The survey, of more than 1,000 respondents, also discovered that almost a third (31%) of people were concerned about commuting with the figure jumping to a significant 52% in London where the clammy and claustrophobic Underground is a favoured means of transportation. 

There are also serious personal finance considerations. With the world facing its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the late 1920s and early ‘30s, spending more than $4 on a cup of heated up beans from Brazil could become a luxury rather than a fix-me-up-in-the-morning necessity for most. 

It also means our Vitamin D deficient bed-to-desk futures will become even less exciting, as we hunch over kettles and measure out our budget instant coffee as we long for an iced frappé in the sun.