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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Is Cold Brew Good For You?

The following post is adapted from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health News 

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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.

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Can Cold Brew Perk Up the Coffee Market?

[Editor’s note: To learn more about this major market trend, join John Buckner, S&D Coffee & Tea, for the NCA webinar, Cold Brew Coffee: Why is it “Hot”?, July 25, 1-2 pm EDT]

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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.

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4 Practical Ways to Teach Second Wave Consumers About Third Wave Coffee

[Editor’s note: If you have no idea what this title means, check out this infographic explaining third wave coffee.]

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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.

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Infographic: The Millennial Coffee Market Is Lit

* [Ed. note: Millennial translation gifs available here]

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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?

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Cold Brew Is Definitely a Thing, Dictionary Confirms

…. And apparently man buns are, too. 

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Cold brew continues to be one of the hottest trends in the coffee market: About 10% of daily coffee consumers reported drinking it past-day in 2017, via the latest National Coffee Drinking Trends report – up from only 1% in 2015.

And it’s not just for the coffee geeks and hipsters anymore: the popular beverage is now officially accepted into mainstream culture.

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