The Power of Personalization in Coffee

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This post originally appeared on Restaurant Business via S&D Coffee and Tea

Decaf with two raw sugars, half-caf with almond milk and agave, iced Americano with two pumps of caramel syrup: Coffee orders can be as varied and unique as the consumers ordering them.

One consistent aspect, however, is that customization is now an essential part of the coffee experience — a fundamental or basic need and no longer an enhanced need, as confirmed by research from S&D Coffee & Tea and Datassential.

According to their survey of regular coffee drinkers that purchase coffee away from home from a commercial operator or convenience store, the ability to customize is statistically tied with speed/convenience and variety of options as the third most important factor when consumers choose a venue from which to buy coffee. Only price and quality are deemed more important than the ability to add to one’s coffee.

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Coffee Shops Are on the Rise

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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:

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Trends and Prospects for RTD Coffee in the US

By Eric Penicka, Research Analyst, Euromonitor International

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In recent years, RTD coffee has been dramatically redefined by beverage manufacturers through the advent of cold brew coffee. Cold brew coffee is coffee brewed without heat, with coffee grounds steeped for several hours to extract flavor and caffeine. The end coffee is one which is naturally sweeter, less acidic, more caffeinated and ultimately more artisanal. This kind of coffee is different from traditional iced coffee, which is hot brewed coffee, iced or chilled, and in most cases sweetened and mixed with dairy.

While currently cold brew coffee is typically offered in on-trade establishments (which Euromonitor International would capture under fresh coffee beans consumed in the on-trade), coffee beverage manufacturers have been quick to identify the trend and produce cold brew coffee for RTD consumption. While still nascent, the dust surrounding RTD cold brew’s explosion has slowly begun to settle, with brands such as Stumptown, Califia, and High Brew emerging to define this new niche.

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Data Snapshot: Coffee Brews Success in Asia

The global coffee market continues to brew up a storm, and Asia is playing a key role in its growth.

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New research from Mintel reveals that three out of the five fastest growing retail coffee markets are in Asia. Indonesia is currently the fastest growing packaged retail coffee market with a CAGR of 19.6% over the past five years, while India has had a CAGR of 15.1%, and Vietnam 14.9%.

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Which Profession Drinks the Most Coffee?

Even if you don’t work in the industry, coffee is likely essential to your career. At-work coffee consumption is rising, according to National Coffee Drinking Trends data.

But which professionals are consuming the most? I Love Coffee made the following infographic based on the results of this survey on coffee consumption trends in the workplace.

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Check out I Love Coffee for more coffee infographics