Consumption & Trends

Europe’s coffee market is complex and fragmented – too much for many roasters

The European market represents 24% of global coffee consumption, a great opportunity for roasters looking to expand internationally. But it's a fragmented market with entrance hurdles that require careful consideration.

Why third-wave coffee roasters pay less for coffee as they scale

The third wave of coffee was born out of an appreciation for improving quality, transparency, and traceability across the supply chain. As such, paying more for coffee quickly became one of the market’s core principles. But what happens as specialty coffee enters the fourth wave, widely accepted as the commercialisation of the sector?

The last few WBC winners have been quieter. Why?

The World Barista Championship is the most important event for baristas in the specialty coffee calendar. It makes sense, then, that winners are regarded with a sense of celebrity in the industry. However, recent WBC winners have been notably more quiet than past champions of ten or so years ago.

How coffee roasters communicate is changing

Since the late 2000s, social media has unequivocally become the primary method of how coffee roasters communicate with their audiences. But as specialty coffee grows and changes, so too does the way roasters talk to their customers.

Starbucks finally makes some money in Australia – what changed?

After a sustained period of low sales in Australia, Starbucks finally turned a profit in the region in November 2023. So, what changed?

Coffee’s health benefits are just another marketing tool

Over the last decade, there has been an enormous amount of research into coffee’s health benefits. However, they are associated with the coffee itself – not necessarily what people add to it. As more and more people begin perceiving coffee as something of a superfood, it's important to litigate how and when this applies.

How much do espresso machines really change? 

Manufacturers seem to release a constant stream of new espresso machines. Can each product launch really improve from the last?

Do historic European coffee brands stand a chance against the multinationals?

Multinationals strengthen their grip over the coffee industry as acquisitions continue across the board. Meanwhile, historic European coffee brands like Lavazza and Illy continue to chug along seemingly unperturbed. But what's the dynamic between the two?

Specialty coffee roasters are ditching micro lots for blends

Specialty coffee roasters are increasingly using blends not just to protect their bottom lines; but to meet the broader demand that's shaping the sector.

Is any coffee roaster truly authentic?

As a coffee roaster scales, it faces the challenge of appealing to both new and existing customers. In the process, they risk what makes them authentic.

Coffee shops need to be better at communicating pricing

Across the world, coffee shops have been forced to increase their prices. However, some have been able to communicate this to customers better than others.

How far can the coffee industry push convenience?

The growing audience for specialty displays shifting consumer values; chief among these is the move towards convenience – how will the coffee industry respond?

Will there always be space for “craft” in specialty coffee?

In recent years, coffee consumers have begun to demand convenience above all else. For many, the next question is obvious: what does this mean for "craft" in specialty coffee?

Is mushroom coffee here to stay, or just a passing trend?

Mushroom coffee has emerged in response to an emerging consumer preference for health and wellness-based products. But does it have staying power?

Specialty coffee keeps changing its mind – automation is cool again

As specialty coffee moves away from craftsmanship, the sector is trying to change perceptions on automation

Are coffee brands all starting to look the same?

As the specialty coffee sector continues to become more saturated, standing out has never been more important. However, while third wave coffee brands historically prided themselves on their unique branding, many of them are now starting to look the same.

Is specialty coffee more of a lifestyle than a product?

Specialty coffee has become so popular that it is permeating other industries, and potentially becoming more of a lifestyle product.

Plant milks take centre stage in the coffee sector – but what happened to dairy?

For the past decade, plant milks have dominated the conversation in coffee shops around the world. But what about dairy?

Coffee consumers want choice – brand loyalty is dying

Coffee companies invest heavily in building their brands because establishing a loyal customer base is crucial for driving growth. However, brand loyalty may be dying in the coffee industry

Who are the top earners in the coffee sector?

It's estimated that around the world, we drink more than 400 billion cups of coffee every single year. And with consumption growing year on year, that means there's plenty of money to be made in the coffee sector. But who tops the list?