As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, concerns emerged among Tunisia’s coffee manufacturers that they would face shortages in the supply of the raw materials needed for their production. These concerns are based on the fact that all of the green coffee that is the essential raw material for the national coffee production is imported.
As the numbers of new COVID-19 cases continued to rise steeply in Tunisia during March 2020, panic buying emerged among the country’s consumers. Although this phenomenon was seen only briefly, it was clear that many households were preparing for the worst.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on demand in almost every category within non-alcoholic drinks in Tunisia during 2020. However, the adverse impact of the pandemic situation on on-trade sales of coffee was even more pronounced.
The adverse economic environment that unfolded in Tunisia over the course of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to continue having an impact on sales of coffee over the forecast period. With purchasing power among the Tunisian population having declined substantially over the course of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic interrupting commercial activity in various key sectors of the national economy, many people are likely to remain reluctant to spend money unless absolute necessary for some time to come.
It is unlikely that the very high popularity of coffee in Tunisia will be substantially harmed by the adverse economic environment that has emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic and coffee is likely to continue being widely consumed on a daily basis. Tunisia has one of the highest per capita consumption rates of coffee in the region and this is an indication of the deeply ingrained coffee consumption habits that subsist among the population.
Although e-commerce remains a peripheral channel for sales of coffee in Tunisia, the importance of e-commerce to the retail distribution of coffee increased over the course of 2020. This was due to the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic pushing consumers towards e-commerce generally.
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This report originates from Passport, our Coffee research and analysis database.
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