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Insights and Studies

6 Coffee Industry Trends To Wake You Up In 2018


America drinks 400 million cups of coffee a day, coming in as the world’s #1 coffee drinker. How do you reinvent something that’s been done (literally) millions of times? A company like Califia Farms makes trends into staples. The bottled cold brew giant offers dairy free milk alternatives, mixing their cold brew with almond, coconut, or soy.  

As alternative milk rose in popularity, an opportunity opened up to revisit customer expectations. Looking at industry game changers like Califia Farms can hint at what direction to go in the coming year! Look at this year's trends to rethink your coffee outlook for 2018.

1. Spiced Coffee


Overly sweetened and highly caloric drinks get a thumbs down from the nutritionally aware coffee drinker. Yet,  68% of coffee drinkers still add a caloric add-in. Cutting calories doesn’t mean they should sacrifice flavor.

Spices add complexity without subtracting from health. Feature spice blends in your coffee lineup or even try cross merchandising by placing your bagged coffee near bottled spices. The flavors will compliment the natural roast and refresh your tired blend without packing on the extra pounds.   Make matches for customers to highlight flavor pairings that will enhance the coffee. 



2. Mushroom Infusions


There’s so mushroom (mush-room… much room… I couldn’t help it) for improvement in the coffee industry. Mushrooms pack an immunity punch; as a superfood in their own right, they help digestion, boost brain power, and can increase energy. Nowadays, mushrooms hold their own in the coffee industry too.

Four Sigmatic features the fungus their lineup of coffee, teas, and even hot chocolates. The mushrooms promote overall well being and add to the flavor profile of the beverages. Unlike traditional coffee, it also reduces jitters. If you're featuring mushroom in your coffee lineup this year, soften up shoppers with tasting events that'll give them a chance to try the fungus before buying a whole bag.


3. Sparkling Coffee


Sparkling water sales were expected to increase by 20% in 2017 alone. But why should water be the only other bubbly? Coffee wants to chill too. Following last year’s cold brew trend, popular coffee companies like Stumptown Coffee offer sparkling cold brew to take on the run as sparkling water makes its move.

Two trends are better than one. Make a power duo by teaming your coffee company up with a popular sparkling water. You can both feature recipe cards and promote one another's product.  

Customers will be bursting with excitement as they learn how they can combine two of their favorite drinks.



4. Cold Brew Tonics


This just in: Tonic dumps gin for cold brew. Coffee cocktails have been on our radar for awhile now, but it’s time to leave the liquor out of the equation. As cold brew kicks alcohol to the curb, it makes room for new mix-ins like cream or maraschino cherry juice.

Explain the flavor profiles to  your customers how notes such as citrus can enhance the coffee. This is the perfect opportunity for a social media photo shoot. Whether it be recipe highlight montages, aesthetically pleasing snaps of your cold brew amidst complimentary ingredients, or your cold brew being featured by your customers, let consumers know how you’re mixing it up this season.


5. H2O Revamp


On our list of trends, hydration is always in style. Your coffee beans might not get their recommended eight glasses, but we are here to tell you quality trumps quantity.  

Choosing a highly filtered water to brew your coffee enhances the nuances of your packaged coffee. Encourage customers to use a pure water source when brewing their coffee to maximize flavor potential. As an education opportunity, this informs customers of the health benefits of purified water and how it can elevate their coffee drinking experience.


6. Café Au Lait Bowls 


Mugs might be so 2017, but coffee isn’t going anywhere. More customers want to elevate their coffee drinking experience. So, why not drink coffee out of a bowl?

Not only do Café au Lait Bowls hold more coffee but their fun designs can create a deeper affinity between consumer and beverage. Show your customers that drinking from a mug can be fun through outreach on social and through brand ambassadors. Create a hashtag campaign that will generate buzz by encouraging followers to post their best pics having their morning “bowl” of joe.



Stay current with these 2018 coffee trends. Spruce up your product line and merchandising techniques or pair up with some complimentary companies for a much needed update. 

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Gabrielle Downey

Gabrielle is a Content Marketing Journalist at Repsly with an enthusiasm for creativity and innovation. While pursuing her passion for writing, she is studying economics and philosophy at Boston College. She spends her free time exploring Boston in search of the best cup of coffee and cannoli.

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