In the Philippines—Southeast Asia’s top top The World Bank Food Security Update Read more coffee-drinking nation—local coffee beans used to come in cheap plastic bags either stapled or bound with tape. Some vendors would also use small cotton sacks or cheesecloth tied with twine. But that has drastically changed over the past three years.
Now, Philippine beans are dropped into valve-sealed bags or airtight canisters sporting information such as tasting notes and roast dates. Then, there are details about the mountainside where the beans originated, the harvest, and the roasting process. Some packages even carry illustrations of coffee equipment or have intricate drawings of coffee plants. Brand logos are sleekly designed and the colour palettes are selected with care.
But when it comes to bean sourcing, coffee roasters keep their supply chains a secret. They get farms to sign non-disclosure agreements so that competitors do not find out their source.
The Philippines’ coffee market was divided: while low-income consumers would drink homegrown coffee, connoisseurs with more disposable income had branded coffee, mostly imported from Vietnam Vietnam The Observatory of Economic Complexity Coffee in the Philippines Read more . But thanks to a department of agriculture (DA) campaign campaign Department of Agriculture 2017-2022 Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap Read more , local coffee is seeing its status rise. The Philippines’ coffee drinkers with higher income are now gravitating towards domestically cultivated beans, with its consumption growing growing Market Research Philippines: Roast Coffee Market and the Impact of COVID-19 in the Medium Term Read more 22% each year from 2016 to 2021.
Farms and suppliers are capitalising on this coffee renaissance, which began in the late 2010s. Domestic production had been declining since 2010, but that was reversed around 2017 when Filipinos began seeking out local coffee.
Now, demand for Philippine coffee is growing growing Market Research Philippines: Roast Coffee Market and the Impact of COVID-19 in the Medium Term Read more 14% on average each year, with per capita consumption set to rise rise The World Bank Food Security Update Read more by 29% by 2025. This climb isn’t just driven by local coffee drinkers.