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With COVID-19 dominating 2020, our lives and coffee trends have changed completely. Lockdowns, ban on imports and exports, travelling and major lifestyle changes have affected how and what type of coffee we consume.
Here are some major coffee trends that you can expect to see in the coming year:
When the first wave of Covid-19 hit, businesses were shut down completely and there was no option but to opt for home made coffee. Your local Starbucks was probably also closed down and true coffee lovers know that coffee is best served hot and fresh.
For this reason, one of the biggest coffee trends that you can expect in the upcoming year is drive through coffee. It's safer than outdoor seating as it minimizes contact with others thereby reducing the chances of contracting the virus.
Plus, even with vaccines coming out, there is no 100% safe option to opt for yet - meaning that consumers and businesses still have to take precautions in order to protect themselves.
This was a key coffee trend in 2020 as well. It keeps gaining more traction with the passage of time. You can expect to see biodegradable and non-plastic cups for takeaways as there is increasing awareness about carbon footprint.
The UN expects to reach its sustainability goals by promoting eco-friendly materials. Plus, you will notice that brands and governments are both aiding this movement by banning plastic and using alternatives.
Starbucks is the perfect example; the global coffeehouse chain has been using reusable cups made of recycled fibre since 2006. It also recently started phasing out plastic straws and replaced them with recyclable, strawless lids as well as straws made of alternative materials.
Not only did local coffee houses become a trend in 2020, but COVID-19 brought exports and imports to a halt, which meant that coffeehouses importing coffee beans had to switch to local alternatives. Many fancy coffeehouses import coffee beans from countries like Brazil and Colombia that are known for their coffee.
This was also a problem for global coffeehouse chains that had production plants in certain countries and retail outlets in others. However, this problem helped support local coffee bean producers. So if you see a slight change in the taste of your coffee at your favorite coffee house, this is probably the reason for it.
Long gone are the times when dalgona coffee was enough to please coffee lovers. While it did become a trend for a while just recently, coffee fanatics usually have very specific needs for their coffee.
The right type, extraction and roasting of coffee beans makes all the difference in flavor. Research shows that Gen Z is especially particular when it comes to the flavor of coffee and baristas cannot cater to the unique needs of each customer. Thus, personal coffee makers for home use are becoming an increasing trend as most individuals prefer the right blend of coffee.
Automation is one of the biggest trends in any industry right now. It is the future because it reduces costs and increases efficiency.
By 2021, you can expect to see less bartenders and more kiosks in coffee houses. Larger coffee chains are also investing in automated coffee machines that brew coffee with just one tap or require no human assistance whatsoever.
COVID-19 is just an added reason why businesses are opting for automation; it's cost friendly in the long run with lower reliance on labor.
Not only is this important for health-conscious customers, but also environment-conscious customers. As social media is increasingly teaching consumers about where products come from, the consequences of using certain materials and the adverse effects some ingredients can have on their health, consumers are beginning to question everything.
This requires businesses to offer transparency to customers in order to build a certain level of trust. It helps to add an FAQ section on official websites, list down ingredients on coffee cups/mugs and educate customers through the social media platforms that they use.
While this trend surfaced last year, it is definitely around to stay. It was introduced several years ago when there was an increasing demand for unique coffee flavor and online shopping as consumers preferred coffee beans to be delivered at their doorstep, but the pandemic really accelerated this demand.
Subscriptions allow coffee lovers to get their favorite coffee beans delivered to them on a monthly basis which eliminates the hassle of going in-store each time they run out.
As is the case with vineyards, consumers are now interested in touring facilities that grow and extract coffee beans. This interest is at a point where it has the potential to turn into a profitable industry that can allow coffee lovers to visit farms where they can see how various coffee beans are grown, extracted and even brewed to get a hint of the final flavor.
In case you’re unfamiliar with RTD, it stands for ready to drink coffee. Not only is it convenient for those who prefer rich-flavored coffee on the go, but it has also proved to be healthier as compared to sodas and bottled or canned cold coffees.
This is an issue that has to do with both COVID-19 and climate change. While COVID-19 has only caused a temporary delay in the transportation of coffee beans, climate change is a much more serious and permanent issue.
With rising temperatures each year, coffee crops are much more exposed to burning. This means a lower yield than the normal amount and the use of pesticides to protect the plants, making the final product unhealthier and artificially grown.
Plus, this also leads to a change in environment as farmers can only grow crops in areas with a lower temperature, causing a loss of jobs, livelihood and a decreased supply of coffee beans in the upcoming years.
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