Sustainability remained a key trend in the Germany hot drinks market due to the high and increasing number of eco-conscious consumers. While organic products had been the big story at the beginning of the review period, it was fair-trade products which constituted a key trend in 2012. Coffee and chocolate-based hot drinks saw a large number of new launches carrying the fair-trade logo of the FLO. In coffee, fair-trade is even on the verge of becoming the standard in premium products. Some consumers also buy fair-trade products because they believe that these products offer better quality.
Some 21 years after Nespresso was launched in Germany in 1991, Nestlé faces the biggest challenge ever to its well-known brand as two compatible capsules were launched. The two brands are called Esprimo and Èspresso Caffè Vergnano and are just the first in a wave of similar product launches to be seen. Both brands retail at a slightly lower price to Nespresso and both are claimed to be bio-degradable, pointing at the aluminium packaging of Nespresso, which creates much waste. It is thus highly questionable if Nespresso will continue to rank first in coffee pods for much longer going into the forecast period.
Discounters put in a poor performance in 2012 as many consumers used the price declines in coffee to trade back up to the brands that they used to buy prior to the peak prices of 2011. The poor performance of discounters was also caused by a broader trend to spend money on fewer but more valuable goods. Supermarkets and hypermarkets meanwhile managed to slightly increase their volume share in hot drinks. In tea, however, discounters maintained their volume share in 2012 due to their strong presence in organic tea, which continued to grow. A fast expanding channel for tea sales is chained specialist tea shops, which are profiting from the growing demand for fine teas.
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