Coffee Trends for 2017
New into the year, we can already tell that it is going to be an exciting year in the world of coffee, with an increase in global coffee consumption and some innovative new products entering the market. While coffee production has increased, it struggles to keep up with the growing demand for coffee products from consumers.
With the cold brew sub-segment grew 580% from 2011-16, and cold brew sales in 2016 proving to be cold brews’ strongest year yet at retail, we can’t help but be looking to see what else is coming.
While there are the original pioneers of the cold brew industry, a number of new launches have hit the market in the past year, continuing the sub-categories fragmentation but also introducing consumers to innovations that have yet to be seen in the coffee category. The growing awareness of consumers have coffee companies needed to go beyond organic coffee, fair trade coffee, and specialized coffee brewing techniques.
Here’s some trends we’re anxious to see grow:
Coffee-infused teas will become mainstream
Are you one of those people who can’t decide between tea or coffee? If so, you’re in luck. Coffee Tea, as it’s referred to, is drying the coffee cherry husk and mixing it with the tea blends. Sales of coffee-infused teas increased throughout 2016 and these products are expected to take off in popularity in 2017. Manufacturers are creating some interesting and delicious blends including Ethiopian coffee mixed with organic Moroccan mint tea and green tea mixed with French roast coffee.
Cold brew coffee to push innovation even further
As consumers - especially in American and Asian markets - are looking for more options, it will become very easy to find in 2017. More nitro coffees – cold brew coffees infused with nitrogen – have entered the retail space as manufacturers find ways to package the premium RTD coffee with and without widgets.
More countries will begin exporting coffee
Traditionally, global coffee production has been dominated by Brazil, Colombia and Ethiopia. While countries like Vietnam and Indonesia produce huge quantities of coffee, they are pretty rare in the United States and European markets. This is expected to change in 2017, with countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand and even Taiwan exporting much more coffee into the USA and Europe. Coffee consumers will be spoiled for choice!
More nitro coffee products will be available
Another big trend in 2016 was “nitro coffee.” Nitrogen is added to coffee to give it a smooth and creamy taste, tasting like a craft beer. The coffee is stored in a keg at high pressure or bottled.
Manufacturers are expected to jump into this trend in 2017 and we will see many more nitro cold brew coffee in stores. More coffee shops and offices have also started having nitrogen infused cold brew coffee available on tap.
Directly-sourced coffee will be in high demand
As coffee lovers become increasingly knowledgeable about what they consume, coffee is no different. In a market where more companies are aiming for USDA Organic or Fair Trade certifications, a rising concern with consumers is where their money is going. Coffee companies who look to work directly with farmers can see it as a way to market themselves, as well as, giving back to the coffee process. Consumers, also, view drinking beans from a single farmer as a smarter way to guarantee consistent quality. Coffee shops will respond to this trend by offering brews with beans from specific farms — further shortening the gap between the farmer and the consumer.
A stronger focus on the quality of water
In recent years, many world class baristas have begun discussing the importance of using high-quality water in the brewing process. There has even been a book written about it — Water for Coffee. Consumers are now aware of the importance of the water in their coffee. In 2017, many consumers will expect coffee shops to use purified and filtered water. The LIMITLESS® team saw an increased number of companies brewing cold brew coffee in coconut water or specialized juices at this year’s Natural Products EXPO West.
Millennials start to dominate the market
There are now more millennials than there are baby boomers in the United States. That means coffee shops and coffee producers may have to start refining marketing strategies to focus on younger consumers.
Mintel, a market intelligence agency, says that the Cold Brew coffee consumers are getting adventurous:
Consumers likely enjoy one-time or spontaneous trial of cold brew by different roasters and manufacturers, both at retail and at foodservice, but it is unlikely they are staying loyal to a particular brand and drinking it on a regular basis.
They also predict that the market has plenty of room for innovation and growth for market awareness. However, we know, in the world of coffee, it’s not going anywhere. And we like that.
2017 is certainly shaping up to be an exciting year for the coffee industry! Feel free to subscribe to the blog and follow our social media channels for more coffee industry news.