Consumption & Trends
Despite the fact that the definition is more complex, "specialty coffee" as a concept is still largely used to refer to small, single-store owner-operated businesses rather than larger organisations.
The success of companies like Blue Bottle has encouraged further investment in the coffee industry. However, there are cases that indicate venture capital may leave some coffee shops in a vulnerable position.
As the global coffee market continues to grow, the binary identities of “big” and “small” may begin to lose their relevance, and the persisting argument that specialty coffee is challenged by larger companies may be distracting us from broader and more pressing threats.
Blurring the traditional lines between “professional” and “consumer”, prosumers are individuals who seek to replicate a professional coffee experience at home. However, the grey area prosumers have historically occupied is becoming more defined – and it is an increasingly relevant space for espresso machine manufacturers.
Over the last two decades, coffee competitions have become increasingly popular. However, instead of uniting coffee consumers, the rising emphasis on experimental coffees could be alienating the average coffee drinker instead of engaging them in how coffee culture is evolving.
Auction-winning coffee lots sell for higher prices every single year. Competition at the top has become outrageously fierce; not least among buyers in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and other East Asian countries.
As the sector becomes more commercialised, it could be argued that the market for high-end specialty coffees is smaller than many people actually think.
CBD’s turbulent history has given way to an extraordinary rise in popularity as it continues to captivate a global audience. As with specialty coffee, will its growth come at a cost?
Until recently, cold brew was the industry’s singular solution to cold coffee. Now, the segment is widely recognised as one of the largest growth areas in the global coffee market.
It's no secret that specialty coffee companies have been driving innovation in the wider coffee industry – and that this is something larger coffee brands are looking to capitalise on.
In the early 2010s, Pacific Coffee was one of the most prominent names in the Chinese coffee market. Now, they face closures of hundreds of their stores.
DEMAND FOR flavoured coffees shows that the next generation of coffee consumers are after something different in their cup. While the pumpkin spiced latte from Starbucks is now infamous, flavours such as strawberry cheesecake, s’mores, twinkies, and cinnamon toast are all increasingly being added to drinks in large coffee chains around the world.
THERE IS evidence that an obsession with developing new products is eroding market share from the products that inaugurated the specialty coffee industry – and may be eroding the essence of what makes it “specialty”. You can see this with the coffee capsule taking market share from other products
Increased global coffee consumption has led to growth in the roasting industry, aided by a growing interest in specialty and a demand for specialty coffee roasters.
The relationship is mutually beneficial, but some worry it could lead to a price war.
A handful of multinationals have spent millions acquiring specialty coffee names. Will the sector benefit?
Many Chinese coffee shops have offered home deliveries since 2017. But during Covid-19, US coffee delivery orders exploded by more than 300%.
As Americans became more health-conscious, Dunkin' pivoted to become a coffee-first brand. By 2021, it was selling more than 4bn cups per year.
Coca-Cola is using Costa Coffee to dominate the RTD coffee market worldwide. But it has Nestlé to contend with.
Despite being labelled as a "consuming country, the US has relatively low per capital coffee consumption at 4.4kg per year.