Bitter coffee, prices increased in Italian bars up to € 1.30

The causes would be the increases in bills and raw materials but also climate change

The price of coffee at the counter after breaking through the psychological share of the euro now reaches peaks that touch 1.30 euros. And from the trade associations comes the alarm: it is not excluded that it could grow up to 1.50 euros by the end of the year in the face of new economic tensions. Numerous causes have been denounced: from the increase in bills of over 120% to that of raw materials which exceeds 70%. It is also feared that next year, thanks to bad weather, the production of coffee beans may be scarce, triggering a spiral of new increases.

“Among the most relevant items that we have recorded that have weighed on the increase in the cup – says to Adnkronos Luciano Sbraga, deputy director of the Italian Federation of public businesses – there is certainly the cost of electricity for the premises. This year the bill. energy of a small bar has gone from 5,500 euros to 12,000 euros per year: in general the increases are around 120% “. But not only that: “the cost of labor and rents” also weigh.

From north to south, a cup of coffee now costs more across the country. Between this year and last year, the bars in Bologna have raised their prices by 3.6%, those in Cagliari by 3.8%. In Milan and Rome the increases were respectively 4.8 and 5.3%. The city where prices have risen the most is Venice, + 10%. As there are no national price lists, “every bartender – continues Sbraga – charges an espresso as it is most suitable for their business”.

But the increase in the price of raw materials, which grew by 72.4% between 2021 and 2022, also had a strong impact. Between spring and November last year, Arabica quality, the best known, went from $ 2,765 to $ 4,587 per ton. We are currently around $ 4,768 with a tendency to increase. Furio Truzzi, president of Assoutenti, a non-profit association for the protection and promotion of the fundamental rights of consumers, believes that the basis of this surge in prices is also “ the will on the part of wholesalers and roasters to recover the economic losses caused from the pandemic, rounding up prices “.

In addition to this, an important role is also played by the drastic climate changes of recent years. Brazil was hit by an anomalous wave of bad weather during 2021, which caused temperatures to drop below freezing and ruined entire coffee plantations. Natural disasters that have put the world’s largest Arabica producer and not only in serious trouble.

“A problem of climate, harvests and agriculture has now been established – underlines the president of Assoutenti – and according to some hypotheses, climate change could cause a decline in the production of Arabica coffee between 27 and 45% in the next period”. A scenario capable of triggering new increases, with roasters and wholesalers unable to supply enough coffee to satisfy the demands of the merchants. And that the cup at the counter can still grow, this is confirmed by its relationship with the high cost of living. Despite a situation on the cost side. of raw materials and energy worrying, the average increase in the price of coffee in bars which in 2022 is between 5 and 6%, is in any case below the growth in inflation on an annual basis, which in July recorded + 7.9%. “We should not be surprised – says Luciano Sbraga – if the cost of coffee and other things increases in bars: we should be surprised by the fact that its increase is below the general average of pr ezzi “.

The deputy director of Fipe, while not excluding it, considers it unlikely that the psychological barrier of 1.50 euros per cup will be breached by the end of 2022. “Unless there are further external economic shocks – he specifies – such as an interruption of supplies of gas and a consequent ungovernable increase in its cost, I exclude that there could be such a significant push as to lead to further increases in the price of coffee by the end of this year “. Without prejudice to the current political-economic situation, the dynamics of prices in bars should remain lower than the general one. “From this point of view – he concludes – the attitude of the exhibitors appears marked by moderation”.