As a facilitator of digital transactions between thousands of Australian specialty coffee roasters and their wholesale clients every day, cloud-based commercial hospitality platform Ordermentum has the ability to dip its bucket into a huge well of data.
Recognizing the power of that data as another valuable resource for the small businesses it strives to assist, Ordermentum has compiled and made public what it claims is the world’s first “Coffee Index,” designed to chart current trends and potentially forecast future ones.
The order portal company claims to serve approximately 20 percent of all specialty coffee roasters across Australia. The newly published Index is a pair of continuously updated charts monitoring changes in prices set per kilogram and overall volume of sales. The data is aggregated and anonymized, drawing from transactions on the platform from over 5,000 Australian cafes. Numbers are crunched weekly and presented in days, weeks, months, and years.
The three main data categories are for whole-bean roasted blends, single-origins and decaf coffees. With this information, small businesses can observe such trends as recurring seasonal dips, product popularity, and pricing across the sector, using that info to potential predict trends in their own performance and adjusting their stock and investments accordingly.
“We’re in a unique position where we are able to take the 55,000 orders through our platform each month and turn the data into insights that help the underdogs,” Ordermentum CEO Andrew Low said in an announcement of the index this week. “Smaller coffee roasters will never have that much data, so being able to provide these insights will have a big impact on creating a sustainable industry.”
Some noteworthy phenomena observable in the Index so far include how the steepest rise in sales occurs as weather down under cools in the Spring, followed by the year’s sharpest drop, which occurs during Australia’s school holidays in July and not, as some might expect, during Christmas, where a slighter downturn does last longer. The pricing index reveals that single-origins tend to sell for 35 percent more than blends, and that while single-origin pricing has arched over the past year, decaf prices have remained almost flat.
The Coffee Index is available free to anyone that logs into the Ordermentum website, with or without an account on the platform. The company has announced that it aims to release specialty bread, milk and wider hospitality indexes within 2018, as well.