While in 2019 retail and foodservice volume sales of coffee posted strong growth rates, the arrival of COVID-19 in 2020 dealt a big blow to the on-trade in particular due to the mandatory closure of non-essential businesses from the middle of March. Even when government restrictions were eased from 8 May, many areas remained in quarantine, while the areas marked as yellow or green in terms of COVID-19 threat still required consumers to observe social distancing and to wear protective masks among other measures.
Growth in coffee shops continued late in the review period, pre-pandemic, aided by the liberalisation of the exchange policy, which has encouraged the entrance of foreign coffee shops. For instance, the well-known Russian coffee shop chain Shokoladnitsa has opened its first branch in Tashkent, and others have been entering the market.
During the review period, the number of local coffee manufacturers remained limited in Uzbekistan, allowing international brands to benefit from higher prices and better positioning in retail channels. Key importers of coffee to the local market in are Turkey, Italy, Russia, France, Ukraine and Germany.
The sales recovery of coffee is likely to hinge on the further economic impact of the pandemic. Pre-COVID-19, the category was gaining momentum in Uzbekistan and coffee has strong potential for further gains due to the sales base and per capita consumption still being low.
In 2019, fresh ground coffee recorded the highest increase in retail volume sales, and this dynamic is predicted to resume over the forecast period. Firstly, sales are developing from a niche base, due to the nascent coffee culture and strong prevalence of instant coffee.
The Uzbekistani government made significant changes after the country became independent. A major change that affected the economy was the liberalisation policy.
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This report originates from Passport, our Coffee research and analysis database.
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