Weekly dose of microtrends that will shape our future

Cream or Sugar? The Current State of Coffee and where it's heading

by Jack LeeHoffman

Edited by Christian Thompson

Hello readers, and welcome back to this week’s Inflection Point. This week, we are diving into the world of coffee to see what trends and signals are driving the morning essential into the future.

It is no secret that coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. According to the National Coffee Association (NCA), 64% of US adults drink coffee daily. We wanted to see what trends and signals may influence the future of coffee consumption.

Over the past two years, the impact score for “High-Quality Instant Coffee” increased by 5427%, and the future estimate predicts growth throughout the following year. During the same period, the impact score for “Ready To Drink Coffee” increased by 711%, with its future estimate forecasting significant growth in the coming months. The impact score for “Coffee” only increased by 74% compared to the other signals, illustrating there is more consumer energy surrounding ready-to-drink (RTD) and quality instant coffee. The question remains: what is driving this growth?

We looked into popular coffee brewing methods to see how they compared to high-quality instant and RTD coffee. The first takeaway we drew from the comparison was that making cold brew coffee is outpacing other brewing methods. We thought this might have to do with convenience as brewing cold brew is a set-and-forget method, while other methods require attention every time you want a cup of joe. Typically, making cold brew requires drinkers to brew the coffee overnight with the finished product ready the next morning. This supports the notion of convenience since your coffee is ready-to-drink when you wake up. The impact score for “Coffee” in the context of “Convenience” has increased by 1589% over the past two years, further supporting that consumers are valuing convenience.

The second interesting takeaway we noticed was that the signals for “Ready To Drink Coffee” and “Cold Brew Method” have the same percentage increase. This may indicate that the cold brew method may align more closely with RTD coffee than other brewing methods. One reason for this could be that cold brew and some RTD coffees are served cold, whereas the other brewing methods are usually served hot. To validate this, we compared the two signals for “Hot Coffee” and “Cold Coffee.” We found that “Hot Coffee” seems to be driven by seasonality, whereas the impact score for “Cold Coffee” has experienced growth throughout the years. As you can see above, “Hot Coffee” peaks around January every year, indicating that the change of season plays a factor in the growing energy around “Hot Coffee.” These takeaways showed us that the consumer may be valuing convenience and shifting away from hot coffee; therefore, we looked at products and companies that make convenient cold coffee.

When looking into ways consumers can achieve cold convenient coffee quickly, one of the most popular methods we found was coffee concentrates. Coffee concentrate is a super-strong version of coffee made to be diluted with either milk, water, or a dairy alternative. You may have seen coffee concentrates start to show up on the shelves of your local grocery store. It's a great cost-friendly option to get your coffee fix. Over the past two years, the impact score for “Coffee Concentrate” has increased by 273%, and the future estimate predicts steady growth for the signal throughout the following year.

A company that is looking to capitalize on the growing presence of coffee concentrate is Cometeer. Cometeer provides a variety of coffee capsule products that can either brew hot or cold coffee. They make coffee pods for machines, but the star of the show is their frozen coffee concentrate pod. The frozen pod enables consumers to make both hot and cold coffee, as well as coffee cocktails. The company uses high-quality coffee bean roasters for their coffee to provide a cafe-quality beverage at a fraction of the price. Coupling convenience with quality has allowed the brand to grow rapidly over the past two years. In that time period, the impact score for “Cometeer Coffee” increased by 1163%, and the future estimate forecasts consistent growth for the next year.

The current state of coffee seems to be defined by convenience and quality. Companies that can leverage this and create products that provide this to consumers will continue to thrive. Brewing methods are currently favoring cold coffee types, but this may be subject to seasonality. Overall, convenience is the largest factor regarding coffee, and providing convenient high-quality coffee products is a recipe for success.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of the inflection point. The article is part of a two-part series covering the current state of coffee and where it is going. Next week, we will cover how coffee is impacting different industries and how the beverage will continue to grow. As always, tune in for the next edition, and have a great week.


About NWO.ai
NWO.ai's predictive platform enables leading Fortune 500 companies and government agencies to anticipate and track global cultural shifts by aggregating, analyzing, and producing actionable reports on human-generated data. We are leveraging petabytes of external, noisy, and unstructured data from various sources including search, social media, blogs, news, patent databases, and SEC filings and we are continuously adding more sources. Our mission is to answer the what, when, and most importantly, 'why' behind a consumer trend and enable our customers to detect these shifts as early as possible.

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