2017 was a big year for coffee.
What – and where – we drink is changing. Specialty trends moved into the mainstream, from the cold brew craze to the rise of RTD. Today, consumers have unprecedented control to customize their beverage, from unique flavors to nutrition-driven additives (oat milk, anyone?).
To reflect how these changes are reshaping our industry, the NCA even added a new “gourmet” category to our National Coffee Drinking Trends report.
Yet at the same time, the fundamentals of coffee remain as relevant as ever. Whether you’re a brewing beginner or a brilliant barista, understanding the basics of what makes a quality cup is still crucial to developing and refining new brew methods and flavors. For instance: Extraction will always be a factor, and your equipment needs to be clean.
We’re looking forward to what the next year will bring – we’re seeing a lot of exciting new research on coffee and health, opportunities to improve industry best practices, and critical developments in sustainability.
But the New Year is also an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been. Here are the most popular NCA blog posts in 2017, highlighting the importance of both innovation and tradition in the world of coffee.
2017 U.S. Specialty Coffee Consumption Trends Infographic
The full version of the following post was first published on SCA News
By Heather Ward
Specialty coffee consumption in the U.S. is growing, and 2017 saw a significant increase in daily specialty coffee drinkers.
Over the last 18 years, the number of daily specialty coffee drinkers has consistently increased, strengthening the consumer demand for specialty coffee.
Let’s take a closer look at the data.
When it comes to coffee, convenience is crucial. Fortunately, a cup of coffee is never far from reach for the majority of U.S. consumers.
More people are drinking coffee out-of-home than ever, reaching a high of reaching a high of 46% in 2017, according to the NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends report. And they’re also opting for more specialty and gourmet beverages.
New market research from the NPD Group shows that coffee shops are popping up across the country to meet this increasing demand. In addition to coffee served at restaurants and other foodservice outlets, there are now 33,129 gourmet coffee shops in the U.S., a 2% increase in units from last year.
Additional highlights from NPD’s Spring 2017 ReCount restaurant census include:
The following post is adapted from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health News
Science shows coffee can have major health perks at any temperature.
Summer’s hottest drink is also a healthy way to beat the heat.
Cold brew coffee — made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water overnight or longer — is just as healthy as regular coffee, according to Frank Hu, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a recent Health.com article.
The following article was originally published by Bloomberg Markets
By Marvin G. Perez
For roasters and producers, cold brew can lead to more bean sales at a time of year when demand traditionally slackens. The need to soak up extra supply is especially important with the price of arabica coffee futures in New York dropping as much as 21% in the past year, and the pace of demand growth in the U.S. forecast to slow.
The benefit of cold brew is twofold: it uses more than twice the amount of ground beans, and it does battle against the efficient single-serve pods that have whittled coffee use and waste.
In the 12 months ended in February, sales of cold brew in the U.S. were up about 80% over the prior year, according to estimates from Cedarhurst, New York-based researcher StudyLogic. Sales of hot coffee fell 3% over the same period. Americans drank 105 billion cups in the 12 months ended in May, StudyLogic Chief Operating Officer Samuel Nahmias said.
Infographic created by I Love Coffee
Everybody is talking about it, but what the heck is it?
[Editor’s note: If you have no idea what this title means, check out this infographic explaining third wave coffee.]
The following post originally appeared on Perfect Daily Grind
Written by E. Squires and edited by T. Newton
If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent countless hours reading, researching, tasting, traveling, and diving deeper into our favorite drink. You love reading about farmers and their best practices. You spend hours perfecting your brew methods and your espresso shots.
But many, if not most, of your customers won’t be as interested in the minutiae of TDS and coffee processing methods. They simply want a shot of caffeine (plus or minus sugar). Sure, some customers will come for a quality coffee experience. A select few will even want to know everything. But these will be in the minority.
The thing about us in the Third Wave is that we’re desperate to share specialty coffee with everybody – but we can’t. Great customer service means understanding your customers and meeting them where they are, whether it’s simply a morning caffeine fix or a matter of helping them along their coffee journey in small steps.
Yet while you can’t force your customers to appreciate coffee like you do, you can open the door and allow them to walk through it. Getting the balance is hard, so we’ve come up with four practical ways to teach people about Third Wave coffee without preaching or being intimidating.
* [Ed. note: Millennial translation gifs available here]
Millennials are really into their coffee. (It’s no coincidence that BuzzFeed recently launched their own roast … sold through a personality quiz.)
But not all cups are created equal.
Just like the cloud, “coffee” often means something different for the 19-35 year old demographic than it does for previous generations. In fact, Millennial behavior and attitudes are transforming the coffee market. (For starters, they really love espresso.)
But what do these changing consumption trends mean for the future of the coffee industry?
What are we drinking?
The NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) 2017 report highlights new market research on consumer behavior and trends.
By Kyra Auffermann, NCA
Today’s “typical” cup of coffee is anything but – it may not even be a cup.
Innovation is fueling growth across the gourmet coffee segment (aka specialty coffee), according to the new NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends Report 2017, released at the NCA 2017 Annual Convention in Austin on March 25, presented by Michael Edwards, Dig Insights.
The latest data shows a market shift toward high-quality, premium beverages, with younger demographics driving this change.
So what does this mean for the coffee industry? Here are the top consumption trends, based on the latest market data.