New Coffee Trends Attracting Mainstream Attention

Coffee has seen surge in innovation in 2016 from the rise of cold brew and nitro coffee to unique coffee cocktails in the restaurant industry.

cold brew coffee available at a convenience storeCold brew, which began at local coffee shops, moved into the cold vault and is now brewing in the mainstream market with Starbucks launching cold brew last summer, and Dunkin’ Donuts adding its own line this past June.

Research firm Packaged Facts pointed out that Dunkin Donuts’ cold brew is marketed as “crafted by hand … in small batches and served each day while supplies last,” which resonates with the current consumer demand for “distinctive, limited-time experiences and hand-made, artisanal products.”

Packaged Facts’ “Foodservice Coffee Market Trends in the U.S” found 10% of survey respondents drink iced coffee most often, and only half of coffee drinkers exclusively take their coffee hot. In fact, among U.S. coffee drinkers, 5% choose cold brew most often, and 14% report having ordered it at a restaurant or café.

Nitrogen-brewed coffee, is yet another trend at hipster coffee shops, but it’s also sneaking into prime time, i.e. beginning this summer in select cities it’s also available at Starbucks. C-stores with growler stations take note. This cold coffee is infused with nitrogen, poured from a keg and appears like a stout beer with a head of foam on top.

Coffee has not been spared by the clean label trend rolling across the foodservice segment. Customers care where their coffee beans come from and what’s in their creamers. Packaged Facts’ report “Refrigerated Coffee Creamers: U.S. Market Trends,” found “clean label” products will be essential in growing U.S. retail market sales of coffee creamers to a projected $2.9 by 2020—a 15% increase from sales of $2.5 billion recorded in 2015. And as cold vault creamers change with the times, condiment bars must also be fully stocked to meet the demand.

With so much excitement and innovation around coffee across channels, c-store retailers need to pay extra attention to their coffee lines in order to compete.

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