Treatt group VP – global sales Douglas Rash looks at the current state of the coffee industry.
Coffee is taking to the stand and has experienced significant growth in recent years, particularly in contemporary applications, such as iced and ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee.
With over 2.25 billion cups consumed each day, coffee is an exciting prospect across all levels of the beverage industry. Coffee applications, such as ready-to-drink and iced coffee drinks, continue to evolve and are beginning to build in presence. Beverage manufacturers must adapt their products to accommodate rising customer standards and inventive flavours, in order to best serve heightened customer demand.
As the world’s second most valuable traded commodity, coffee remains in high demand across an international consumer base. For example, it is forecast that retail and food service sales of coffee in the United States will exceed $48bn in 2014, with retail sales accounting for 23% and food service establishments 77%. In addition, the daily consumption of refined coffee has starkly built ground over recent years, with espresso style beverages having experienced a popularity spurt of 5% in 2014.
In Europe, significant growth has also been achieved over the past decade with the arrival of coffee giants and through the proliferation of smaller, independent coffee shops. The iced and RTD market has witnessed impressive growth of between 9-10% across Europe in the final quarter of 2013.
These market conditions provide a perfect backdrop in driving forward new trends and innovative ideas in the world of coffee production, resulting in fertile ground for new and well-established beverage manufacturers.
Hot coffee beverages continue to steal the show, with 75% of consumers consistently selecting hot coffee over other available formats. As the market grows, so does the customer’s expectation of coffee, as their palette has been influenced by upscale coffee shops. In the food service or a staff room setting, consumers are seeking to emulate the enhanced coffee experience to which they have grown accustomed in such an environment. In the case of RTD coffee beverages, customers are demanding an authentic fresh-brewed taste. Whilst flavour combinations such as hazelnut, French vanilla and other combinations are popular, the underlying coffee must taste authentic and meet the customers’ ever-increasing expectations.
Douglas Rash is Treatt group VP – global sales. This is a personal blog and views expressed are his own.
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