Coffee has become the most consumed beverage in developed countries. Norway, Netherlands, and the United States make up the top three coffee consuming countries. When it comes to the coffee industry, Starbucks, Costa Coffee, McDonald’s McCafe, and Dunkin Donuts are some of the leading competitors. There is no doubt that coffee trends are constantly evolving, whether you are walking down the street or scrolling down your social media feed, the odds of you encountering coffee are high. So what type of coffee trends should competitors be using to maintain leverage in the upcoming years?
The second wave of coffee was the transition of coffee as a necessity to a luxury. This introduced a general increase in quality, along with the idea of specialty coffees. As the industry enters the “third wave” there will be a strong concentration on how consumers drink and think about coffee. There is expected to be an increase in direct trade, meaning that roasters will buy directly from the producer, cutting the middleman out. This suggests an initiative for greater quality and sustainability, leading to premium prices for consumers. Customer experience will also be a focal point for the third wave; there will be a higher emphasis on customer feedback and building a relationship between the consumer and their beverage.
According to the National Coffee Association, “daily consumption among 18-to-24-year-olds rose to 48 percent from 34 percent, while it climbed to 60 percent from 51 percent among those aged 25 to 39.” These age groups are a key component in influencing a shift in menu offerings. These generations find value in nutrient rich foods and drinks. There is a forecasted demand for sweeter and creamier beverages, along with the use of flavored carbonated water. This trending specialty drink is simple; a mixture of tonic water and espresso.
In the latest coffee news is the alliance between Nestle and Starbucks. Coming in as the third-biggest transaction in Nestle’s 152 years of history is its $7.15 billion investment for the right to market Starbucks products. The initiative was made to harness the name recognition of Starbucks, a brand with 28,000 outlets around the world. Starbucks will be in charge of producing packaged coffee in North America while Nestle will be responsible for the rest of the world. Coffee brands are constantly looking for ways to enhance their products, gain brand recognition, keep up with trends, and ultimately be a lead in the industry.