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Coffee is a fundamental part of foodie culture around the world. And, over the past few years, the coffee industry has evolved majorly for a variety of reasons. It’s important to keep on top of new trends, so you can cash in on what’s newly popular. Here are some general trends that we’ve noticed in the coffee industry as well as some specific things to look out for and try in your restaurant or cafe. On the whole, coffee is getting cooler...


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1. Coffee For Younger Audiences: Sweeter and Easier

Coffee is becoming increasingly popular amongst young people. The quickest growing age group of coffee lovers is 13 to 18-year-olds. As a consequence of this growth, the industry is changing and inventing drinks that appeal to the preferences of the younger audiences. Here are a selection of trends aimed at younger tastebuds that we expect to grow:


Coffee Shakes and Sweetened Alternatives

The bitterness and harsh taste of black coffee is not to everybody’s taste, especially the younger drinkers who prefer sweeter alternatives. To meet this need, a lot of coffee shops are boasting a vast selection of sweeter coffee drinks, like coffee shakes.


Ready-to-Drink Coffee

Often being on the go, teenagers need a coffee fix that requires minimum fuss. The resulting product? Ready-to-drink coffee.


If you’re not familiar, ready-to-drink coffee is bottles of pre-made coffee, frappuccinos, or cold brew that you can find in petrol stations and convenience stores.


They’re bottled and can be drank cold, on the go, which is appealing to millennials and young professionals or busy students who often (unwisely) skip breakfast. Plus, many ready-to-drink coffees are sweet, so they’re appetising to coffee drinkers who don’t like the bitterness.


2. Cafe Au Lait Bowls

It seems now that presentation is just as important as taste, especially since the rise of Instagram. There are millions of Starbucks photos posted everyday on the site by users.

Why stick to drinking your coffee out of a cup? Cafe au lait bowls are usually served in a bowl with unique and beautiful designs on the outside. Perfect to rake in those Instagram likes.


3. Gourmet Coffee

Although plenty of younger people want their coffee to be sweet and on the go, coffee drinkers, in general, are moving quickly towards a higher-quality, gourmet standard of coffee.

For years, you could only get coffee beans and grounds from a few companies and regions, but the foodservice trend toward higher quality and craft foods has opened up many other options. There’s a nearly an infinite selection of coffee from across the globe that wouldn’t have been available a few years ago.






4. Direct Trade Coffee

Direct trade coffee is a process that cuts out the middleman between the coffee producer and the coffee shop. This system is mutually beneficial because the producer gets a larger cut of the profits while the coffee shops get access to fresher and better-tasting beans.

Direct trade coffee is similar to Fair Trade coffee, but which a strong focus on bean quality.


5. Speciality Drinks

In addition to the larger selection of coffee beans to choose from, a growing trend in the coffee industry is a greater variety of coffee drinks and flavored beverages. Now, when you go to a coffee shop, there are dozens of drinks to choose from, ranging from iced beverages to coffee shakes to classic options.


6. Cold Brew Coffee

Move over iced coffee, cold brew is the newest and most popular cold beverage at coffee shops. Cold brew coffee is stronger than traditionally brewed coffee while also cutting out a lot of the bitterness and acidic flavors. As an added bonus, cold brew coffee is easy to make and prepare in bulk, which makes it attractive for restaurants and coffee shops.



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7. Nitro Coffee

Branching out of the craft brewing craze, nitro coffee is one of the biggest trends of 2018. The drink infuses coffee with nitrogen gas and creates a thick, creamy textured brew. The consistency of the coffee is particularly similar to a porter or a stout, which are also pumped with nitrogen gas.

An added benefit of nitro coffee is that it’s very strong. It’s now being produced in cans that you can find in various different stores and petrol stations, making it much easier to drink on the go.



Coffee Habits Evolve and So Do Flavour Trends

Trends come and go, so make sure your team is up to date with the latest food trends. Download a FREE copy of our Flavour Trends Guide for restaurants to inspire you for any future menu changes.


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