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Inside Austria's coffee market.

Austria has been experiencing a boom in roasting and, as follows, green imports. When one might consider this is a sure sign that consumption is increasing in this 32,375 sq.m. nation, the figures actually are not at all what they seem. The real reason for the increases in the Austrian coffee market is the amount of coffee that leaves Austria--not in re-exports, but actually is bootlegged out of the country into the neighboring former Eastern Bloc nations. Many of the employees of major roasters are purchasing the R&G coffee and either reselling it or giving it to family members who live outside Austria.

The black market is thriving in Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Russia and Romania. It is not the jeans, television sets or cigars that everyone wants; it's coffee. Selling out on the open streets, both in Poland and even more so in Hungary, coffee is snatched up for usually less money than what domestic roasters can offer. Some Hungarian roasters angrily eye the Austrian roasters, accusing them of ruining their market share; others merely shrug and see a better future for all roasters as certainly people want coffee products.

Market Roaster Breakdown

Jacobs is the market leader in Austria, with 28% of consumer sales; Eduscho follows with 23%, Heinz Vespustek of the Kaffee Verband tells me. Alvarado holds a 14% share, and Julius Meinl holds an 8% share. Tchibo, with a 4-5% market share, is only imported as a brand and is sold in some stores,

The Austrians are traditionally very proud of their coffee and coffeehouses. As was explained to me, the Austrians do not just consume coffee, they celebrate coffee. People' can spend three hours consuming a single cup of coffee and they will not be disturbed, Hellmut Braun of Eduscho proudly told me. Coffee is served in an elaborate fashion, whether you're in a fancy restaurant or the comer coffeehouse, and there seems to be about one coffeehouse per street. The Austrians imbibe the beverage in the turkish style, in small cups. The separate coffee menu seems endless as all sorts of concoctions with and without liquor, milk or sugar are listed. Ornate copper urns are displayed in many coffee-serving establishments. Consumers' choices never include a black cup of coffee.

Tea in Austria

Black tea consumption has been stagnant for several years now in Austria. The image of tea is still portrayed in consumers' minds as a beverage to be consumed while one is ill. Recent contenders on the tea scene are fruit teas which, in one year, have surpassed all Black tea consumption, and are still growing. Fruit teas either are mixed with Black teas, or more likely, they are all fruit, or a mixture of fruit and herbs. One of the current generic promotions with tea includes a tea time on a local music station on the Austrian radio. The Austrian Tea Board, of which Dr. Heinz Vejpustek is executive secretary, agreed to pay about $10,000 for 20 days for the constant mention of tea. Tea is referred to at least 20 times while 50 minutes of music are played, with a popular topic being discussed over a cup of tea.

The Austrian economy is thriving and its economic ventures with the former Eastern Bloc countries are coming to fruition. The coffee roasting industry has no complaints in this nation.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Lockwood Trade Journal Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:coffee roasting industry, coffee- and tea-drinking habits examined
Author:McCabe, Jane
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Sep 1, 1992
Previous Article:Eduscho - expanding and renovating with the times.
Next Article:Fine tuning at the Swiss water plant.

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