With 70 million cups of coffee being consumed every day by the UK population, the industry continues to thrive and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. With information readily available at our fingertips, more and more consumers, particularly younger ones, are learning about and becoming interested in speciality coffee.
Moreover, the growing sales of home brewing equipment and commercial coffee machines shows that the general public and business owners are choosing to invest in the nation’s love of coffee. As such, we believe that 2018 will be a great year for coffee – but, what are the latest consumer trends to look out for?
Consumers aged 13 to 18, who fall into the ‘millennial’ bracket, are the fastest growing demographic of coffee drinkers, and for that reason the industry has had to change and adapt to their particular wants and needs.
Millennials are constantly on-the-move and have grown up with everything being easily accessible, fast and simple. Accordingly, we expect that pre-made bottled coffee drinks, with their attractive packaging and which are easy to carry around and consume, will spike in popularity in 2018. Moreover, these types of pre-bottled drinks are generally more sugary than traditional coffee, which again appeals to the younger generation and their sweet tooth.
According to industry trend predictors, The Future Laboratory, coffee cocktails will enjoy a resurgence in 2018, mostly due to millennials’ growing desire to socialise and seek out the ‘next big thing’, as well as their ‘globalised palettes’ which can appreciate flavours that may have been seen as somewhat outlandish to the generations preceding them.
In view of that, bars and restaurants which seek to tap into this market should attempt to do so by exploring innovative cocktail recipes and exciting new drinking experiences which will appeal to the desires of this adventurous young audience.
With sales increasing by a whopping 580% since 2011, it’s safe to say that cold brew is here to stay. Cold brewing is a method in which ground coffee beans have been steeped in cold or room-temperature water for up to 24 hours, allowing for greater oxidisation and thus creating a sweet flavour which is much less acidic and bitter than normal iced coffee.
Perhaps thanks to millennials and their sweeter palette, the popularity of cold brews continues to rapidly grow. The method can also be implemented in many ways, including for use in cocktails. And, while the technique certainly creates a type of speciality coffee which you might think you’d only find in the hippest of coffee shops, you can in fact make it relatively easily by yourself at home.
You may or may not have come across the latest trend in the industry – nitro coffee. This is essentially cold brewed coffee which is infused with nitrogen gas, giving a rich, smooth, foamy texture which many people have said holds similarities to craft beer.
Many nitro-style coffees can be found in cans in supermarkets which makes them portable and easy to consume. Again, this type of beverage appeals to the ‘hip’ millennial market, of which roughly 1 in 5 would consider purchasing nitro coffee.
Believe it or not, according to a recent report by American supermarket chain, Whole Foods, the hottest drink trend of 2018 could come in the form of mushroom-infused coffee. However, not all types of mushrooms are drinkable, in fact, only a handful indeed pair well with coffee, including reishi, chaga, cordyceps and lion’s mane.
Now, fungi-based coffee might not sound like the most appealing thing in the world, but much like the avocado and kale smoothies of years past, mushroom beverages are already being hailed as the new superfood trend by health and fitness bloggers across the globe. The question is, will you be giving them a try in the year to follow?