2018 Coffee Trends: Where is the Coffee Industry Going Next?

Coffee trends are constantly evolving, and whether you walk past a Starbucks every block or see the latest seasonal frappuccino on Instagram; it’s safe to say that America is a very caffeinated country. But it’s not just the US that’s throwing back cups of Joe; Finland, Norway, and The Netherlands make up the top three coffee consuming countries.

So, with much of the world a buzz; what are the 2018 coffee trends shaping the coffee industry? 

The third wave of coffee

Second wave coffee was the movement of coffee as a necessity to a luxury, which welcomed a general increase in quality as well as speciality coffees. Now, as the industry enters the “Third Wave” there is going to be a huge emphasis on how consumers drink and think about coffee.

Here is what we know about the third wave of coffee:

Direct Trade

Direct trade, when a roaster buys directly from the producer, is going to see growth in 2018. Direct trade doesn’t just cut out the middle man, it implies a greater emphasis on quality, sustainability, and experimentation in brew methods. And all this will be sold at a premium price to consumers.

Customer Experience

The concept of customer service has evolved to focus on the customers’ experience and in response, roasters and coffee shops are making 2018 the year of the customer. From soliciting feedback to educating consumers about the story of their coffee – the third wave is about fostering a relationship between the consumer and their cup.

Menu Trends: Aiming At Generation Y & Z

The fastest growing group of coffee drinkers are those aged 13-16 (Generation Y), and Millennials make up the largest group of coffee consumers, consuming 44% of coffee in the US. These two generations are instrumental in influencing a shift in menu offerings.

coffee trends

Sweeter and Creamier Beverages

The frappuccino fad is far from over. Roasters and coffee retailers are taking aim at this generation by departing from the acidity of black coffee and introducing sweeter and creamier beverages to the menu.

A Cup of… Mushrooms

These generations are all about nutrient rich foods and drinks. The next superfood to make an appearance in your coffee? Mushrooms. Mushroom coffee is starting to pop up at trendy coffee shops, and Whole Foods buyers’ are forecasting a jump in their popularity for 2018.  

Cold Brew Still Hot

Move over iced coffee, because cold brew is quickly becoming the much cooler beverage of choice. As opposed to brewing hot coffee and pouring it over ice, cold brew is made by brewing coffee in cold water. This method cuts the acidity, making it smoother to drink and is also much easier to brew large batches. A win-win!

Bubbly Brew

Thanks to La Croix, flavored carbonated water has become all the rage. And 2018 will bring the bubble craze to your coffee. This trending specialty coffee is simple: tonic water and espresso, and coffee shops like Saint Frank in San Francisco and Everyman Espresso in New York  are getting behind this trend.

Simplify The Daily Grind

Keep your line moving and streamline your day to day operations with a powerful Coffee Shop Point of Sale. Track your roasts down to the bean with ingredient-level inventory, easily add modifiers to even the most extravagant coffee orders, and create a loyalty program that keeps your customers coming back for more.

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