Kansas City expert explains why coffee prices are rising again

Kansas City expert explains why coffee prices are rising again

A cup of coffee is how many people start the day. While prices have gone up during the pandemic, they could go up again.Coffee prices are rising.”In the gas world, you and I would call this price gouging,” said Tracy Allen, who’s been in the coffee business since the 1980s.Allen runs a company called Brewed Behavior, helping developing countries grow and sell coffee.The world’s largest coffee producer is Brazil and it is in a drought. But Allen said that’s not the only thing pushing prices here.”Because of COVID, there was so much downtime, and nobody’s working, nothing’s moving, and now everybody’s gearing back up, there’s a shortage of shipping containers,” Allen said.With a shortage of shipping containers and coffee beans sitting on foreign docks, the price to ship it here has gone way up.”So for me to get a container from Sumatra right now, which is typically $1,000 to $1,500 to get it to the U.S. is now close to $6,000,” Allen said.If you pay $10 a pound for coffee at the grocery store, Allen said do not be surprised to see that same coffee selling for $13 to $14 a pound. He also said that he looks for big sellers, such as Starbucks and Dunkin to raise prices, too.The even bigger question is once shipments return to normal, will the price come down?”And then the real question is, how many of those roasters are going to go back and take the price back down once it’s up there right?” Allen said.”So do you see this price hike as something permanent?” KMBC’s Kris Ketz asked.”I’ll fall short of saying it’s temporary. I wish I knew,” Allen said.

A cup of coffee is how many people start the day. While prices have gone up during the pandemic, they could go up again.

Coffee prices are rising.

“In the gas world, you and I would call this price gouging,” said Tracy Allen, who’s been in the coffee business since the 1980s.

Allen runs a company called Brewed Behavior, helping developing countries grow and sell coffee.

The world’s largest coffee producer is Brazil and it is in a drought. But Allen said that’s not the only thing pushing prices here.

“Because of COVID, there was so much downtime, and nobody’s working, nothing’s moving, and now everybody’s gearing back up, there’s a shortage of shipping containers,” Allen said.

With a shortage of shipping containers and coffee beans sitting on foreign docks, the price to ship it here has gone way up.

“So for me to get a container from Sumatra right now, which is typically $1,000 to $1,500 to get it to the U.S. is now close to $6,000,” Allen said.

If you pay $10 a pound for coffee at the grocery store, Allen said do not be surprised to see that same coffee selling for $13 to $14 a pound. He also said that he looks for big sellers, such as Starbucks and Dunkin to raise prices, too.

The even bigger question is once shipments return to normal, will the price come down?

“And then the real question is, how many of those roasters are going to go back and take the price back down once it’s up there right?” Allen said.

“So do you see this price hike as something permanent?” KMBC’s Kris Ketz asked.

“I’ll fall short of saying it’s temporary. I wish I knew,” Allen said.


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