We are now a couple of months into the year, and already some interesting trends are developing in the coffee industry. Here at Galaxie Coffee, we follow those trends for obvious reasons. Below are the top five just now emerging. Some will undoubtedly continue to grow and significantly impact the industry this year while others will simply fade away. It will be interesting to see how each of them fare.
1. Adding Nitrogen to Cold Brew
Both the National Coffee Association and research company Mintel agree that cold brew will be very strong in 2017 while iced coffee begins to decline. But Mintel goes one step further by predicting the introduction of nitrogen to cold brew. A few national coffee chains are already using the trick to create a creamy cold coffee beverage that is rather unique. If they can make it work, we expect more companies to be experimenting with nitrogen cold brew.
2. Marketing Will Focus on the Experience
Millennials are now the single largest demographic group in America despite the aging population of baby boomers. As such, the coffee industry will be targeting millennials quite a bit more this year. That means focusing the message on the social experience of coffee rather than brewing that morning cup of joe before heading off to work. Focusing on the experience will be seen in everything from packaging to advertising. There will also be less emphasis on price, given that millennials are more likely to freely spend for an experience they appreciate.
3. A New Emphasis on Coffee Processing
With the industry now focusing more on millennials, they are also looking at new ways to present coffee. We expect to see a greater emphasis on coffee processing to create new flavors and styles. Processing occurs between harvest and grinding; it includes everything from roasting to aging.
4. Greater Demand for Bottled Coffee
Though iced coffee ought to decline while cold brew grows, both trends could be overshadowed by higher demand for bottled coffee. Known in the industry as ready-to-drink (RTD), this coffee product generated revenues in excess of $2 billion in 2015. Late last year, Coca-Cola and Dunkin Brands even entered into a partnership to bring new bottled coffee products to market in 2017.
5. The Convergence of Coffee and Alcohol
Lastly, younger coffee drinkers have been looking for the local coffeehouse and the bar next door to merge for a long time. It looks like 2017 could be the year for such an enterprise. Industry watchers expect more coffeehouses to start serving alcohol in 2017. Some of them will undoubtedly find ways to infuse their coffee with alcohol to create unique, new beverages.
We expect our own emerging trend here at Galaxie Coffee: growing opportunities to serve more customers as we work hard to introduce the Galaxie name to more offices and work sites throughout the greater New York area. If you are looking to add coffee and beverage service to your workplace, we would be happy to serve you.