CHICAGO — Consumers are still crazy about coffee, but they’re not always sipping the same cup of joe. Caffeine fans are increasingly grabbing a cold brew or iced coffee, according to Technomic Ignite menu data. These chilled drinks are overtaking specialty hot coffees, such as lattes. And characteristics including freshness, sustainability and bean origin are affecting coffee preferences.
Here are five trends brewing around coffee consumption ...
1. Keep it simple
Sweet, frothy coffee drinks sprinkled with glitter may get a lot of Instagram attention, but they don’t appeal to the dedicated coffee drinker. Simple coffee beverages are trending at leading restaurants, with cold brew up by 36% year over year and fresh-brewed hot coffee still leading in consumption.
2. The big chill
Younger consumers are boosting the popularity of cold brew and iced coffee. Technomic’s Beverage Consumer Trend Report reveals that iced blended coffee, iced cappuccino and iced lattes are more likely to be purchased by 18- to 34-year-olds than by older consumers. And they are ordering them more often as snacks, stopping by a coffee cafe for a midmorning or midafternoon break.
5. In the mainstream
While more exotic flavors are trending upward, familiar ones are holding their own. Vanilla dominates, with 52% of consumers showing a preference for that coffee flavor. Caramel is close behind at 48%, followed by hazelnut (41%) and mocha (37%).
A version of this story appeared previously in CSP’s sister publication, Restaurant Business.