Top Coffee Trends of 2019

Coffee is a fundamental part of food culture in the United States and around the world, and it’s especially prevalent in foodservice. Over the past few years, the coffee industry has changed drastically for a variety of reasons. As a foodservice operator or restaurant owner, it’s important to stay ahead of new trends so you can capitalize on what’s new and popular. Here are some general trends that we’ve noticed in the coffee industry as well as some specific things to look out for in 2019.

Coffee for Younger Audiences

Over the past two years, coffee consumption has increased dramatically and the age of coffee consumers has decreased. The change was identified through the findings of a 2017 study on coffee consumption. The study was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine and involved more than 520,000 people. Their findings showed that drinking coffee regularly could improve life expectancy. After these results were published, the National Coffee Association (NCA) discovered that the percentage of daily coffee drinkers increased from 57% to 62% in the course of a year. In the United States alone, 44% of those coffee consumers are millennials.

With more coffee drinkers out there, it is not surprising that coffee is becoming more popular among younger generations. For example, the fastest growing demographic of coffee drinkers is the 13- to 18-year-old age group. As a result of this rapid growth, the coffee industry is changing and creating new drinks that appeal to the tastes and wants of the younger generations. Here are a few trends aimed at millennials that we expect to grow in 2019:

Coffee Shakes and Sweetened Alternatives

While many older people like the acidity and bitterness of black coffee, it's not palatable to some people, especially the younger generations who prefer sweeter and creamier coffee beverages. To meet this need, many coffee shops are offering larger selections of sweet coffee drinks, like coffee shakes and flavored lattes. Coffee shakes were first adopted by major coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, but now you can find varieties at even small cafes and bistros.

Ready-to-Drink Coffee

Young people are increasingly on the go, and they are looking for coffee and drinks that are easy to carry around. Ready-to-drink coffee is the solution to this problem. If you're not familiar with it, ready-to-drink coffee is the bottles of pre-made coffee, frappuccinos, or cold brew that you can find in gas stations and convenience stores. Because they are bottled, they are very portable, which is appealing to millennials and young professionals. Additionally, many ready-to-drink coffees are sweet, so they are appetizing to coffee drinkers who don't like bitterness.