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Finns and their beloved coffee – they couldn’t drink more if they tried

Almost one of every hundred coffee beans in the world is imported to Finland. When it comes to java, the Finns are in a league of their own. In Finland, the average price of a home-brewed cup of coffee is currently 5.75 cents. Could this be one of the reasons Finns drink so much of it?

Two mugs of coffee.
Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

New statistics from the International Coffee Association (ICO) show that Finland is one of the world’s largest consumers of coffee beans. Per capita consumption of raw coffee is a whopping 12 kilograms per year in Finland. For comparison’s sake, coffee aficionado Italy comes in at only 5.7 kilos per year and Spain consumes only 4.5 kilos annually.

Finland is not number one, however. Number one in terms of per capita consumption is the wild card Luxembourg. Their 24 kilos a year is however largely explained by a vigorous cross-border trade with its neighbours. Germany is full of coffee drinkers eager to buy inexpensive coffee grounds from across the border.

Finnish coffee and cocoa producer Paulig’s Marketing Manager Karri Kauppila predicts that Finland’s consumption simply can’t grow any higher. In fact, the domestic market has shown no growth for quite some time.  

“Coffee habits can always change; the way we drink coffee has become much more diverse. But in terms of volume we have already maxed out. There’s no way consumption can grow any larger,” he says.

These latest ICO figures have caused some disbelief in Finland. Quantities are so high that top coffee drinkers must have a steaming cup of joe in front of them non-stop. Could this really be the case?

Cheap prices– cause or effect

Finns pay a bit less than 80 euros a year for the coffee they drink at home. This hefty price tag can be attributed to the sheer volume of coffee Finns consume, as a Turk can buy a year’s worth of coffee for fewer than six euros.

Considering that only about seven grams of ground coffee are needed to brew a proper cup of coffee, however, Finns actually pay an average of just 5.75 cents for each cup. If the same formula was used in Britain or Italy, they would pay over 10 cents for each cup.

In Finland there is a long tradition of using coffee as a sales promotion item in stores, sold at prices below its market cost to stimulate the sales of more profitable goods. Competition is fierce and coffee price fluctuations are as a result rarely visible at the checkout.

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