Coffee continues to hold its place as one of the most popular — and most profitable — beverages in America. In fact, coffee's popularity is so consistent that the overall numbers of coffee drinkers remains fairly static from one year to the next. But that doesn't mean everything in the world of coffee stays the same.
On the contrary, the coffee industry has seen many fads come and go. This year has been no exception, with plenty of exciting new trends to see and experience. Here are three things to know about the current state of the coffee industry in 2019:
1. Gourmet Coffee Continues to Surge.
Recent years have seen an enormous uptick in the number of consumers drawn toward gourmet coffee beverages. Gourmet coffee encompasses what the industry refers to as "premium varieties." Gourmet coffee beverages, by contrast, include brewed gourmet coffee, espresso-based beverages, and non-espresso beverages like cold brew and blended drinks.
Among people in 2019 who reported drinking coffee within the past day — a demographic referred to as past-day drinkers — a whopping 60 percent consumed gourmet coffee beverages. Espresso-based beverages make up a huge chunk of that number at 24 percent. What this means is that consumers are more willing than ever to pay top dollar for premium coffee products.
2. The Under-40 Demographic Is Driving Change.
Once upon a time, most of the coffee market centered around pre-ground coffee brewed at home using drip machines. Drip machines remain a perennially popular option, with 45 percent of past-day coffee drinkers responding that they used a drip machine. Yet the industry has still been steadily trending towards newer — and hipper — ways of consuming coffee.
As you might be able to guess, much of this change has been driven by the under-40 demographic, who respond much more readily to alternative brewing techniques. For instance, this demographic has done much to popularize cold brew and other ready-to-drink coffee beverages.
The influence of the under-40 demographic can also be felt in a general shift towards offering fair trade and ethically produced varieties of coffee. Younger coffee drinkers also place an outsized priority on sustainability, powering a trend toward more certified organic offerings. Expect to see this trend continue to influence the coffee world in years to come.
3. An Increasing Number of Studies Show Health Benefits to Coffee.
Coffee has been the subject of much scientific work in the last several years. Researchers have increasingly uncovered a wealth of links between coffee consumption and decreased risk of disease. In fact, the latest version of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines includes an unprecedented recommendation for coffee's inclusion as a part of a healthy lifestyle.
For one thing, coffee consumption has been linked with a 10-percent reduction in the chances of developing postmenopausal breast cancer. Likewise, coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer for women by up to 20 percent. Coffee has also been linked with demonstrative reductions in the risks of strokes and type two diabetes.
Bonus Trend: Refining the Ways We Drink Coffee
Just like coffee can be produced in a myriad of ways, many of which are considered hipper alternatives than just a drip machine, the same can be said for how we consume coffee. From elegant espresso cups to Sunday morning coffee mugs, consumers are becoming more refined and are looking for a holistic coffee experience, not just a cup of joe.
We offer a full range of coffee experiences as part of our new Coffee Tasting collection from Tafelstern. Request samples to see how it would look in your operation.