Where will the coffee market be in 2019?
Members of the European Coffee, Tea & Soft Drinks Expo steering panel give us their predictions for the year ahead.
Scott Russell, founder & ceo, Paddy & Scott's; Sonia Louro Carvalho, head of coffee development at Restaurant Associates, part of Compass Group UK & Ireland; Andy Wells, Co-founder Press Coffee; Craig Bunting, co-founder, Bear; Jessica Worden, coffee manager, Gail's Artisan Bakery; Rob Robertson, co-founder, Notes; Joao Almeida, head of coffee operations, Elan Cafe and Antonio Vigorito, food and beverage manager, St James's Hotel & Club give Coffee Business World their insights into 2019.
“Brexit aside, authenticity will be the new currency for coffee companies in 2019. You don't need to be an expert to realise consumers are becoming more and more savvy. Those businesses out there who have creative tax schemes or have huge gaps in their ‘story’ will be under threat. You can no longer just get away with slapping a Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance sticker on your coffee bag and think you’ve ticked the CSR box. I also see Nitro Cold brew gaining popularity as an on trade mixer for cocktails and indeed mocktails. With several huge multi-national liquor firms kicking around collaboration projects, surely there's something out there more exciting than tonic water? I also believe 2019 will be year of acquisitions, real trading profit and growth in your chosen market will make good small companies attractive to larger multi-channel operators."
Scott Russell, Founder & CEO, Paddy & Scott's
“We believe that the trend for dairy milk alternatives will continue to dominate in the coming year. With the continuing growth in the vegan and eco-conscious consumer markets, we are seeing, for instance, a rise in oat milk in particular, which we believe will continue.
"The coffee consumer is more knowledgeable than ever with the industry being challenged furthermore around transparency, and our consumers are eager to make an empathetic connection to the coffee they buy. This generation of coffee drinkers aren’t content with knowing that a coffee is from a particular country or continent, they want to know where and how their coffee has been cultivated. What region is it from? Is this from a singular farm? All this is important to them so in turn, it’s important to us.
"Where we are able to make an emotive connection between our consumer and their cup of coffee, we establish a relationship between us. We see that when daily or routine purchases can be traced to their source, the consumer feels an increased sense of purpose and personal connection – and that’s a continuing focus for us in the coming year."
“I think I can safely say that the whole of the speciality industry in London at least does not want Brexit to happen. The immigration issues will leave us with a smaller less talented pool of employees to choose from. However programs like Well Grounded (who we work with and hire from) will go from strength to strength and more similar ventures may pop up across the country.
"As for trends, I think cold brew will stay strong, and there will also be a lot more canned/bottled products with coffee and tea variations and flavours in them. Coffee prices are remaining pretty consistent for us, but we will be seeking new deals and going direct to many farms at origin. I think many smaller roasters will seek this and try to cut out the larger importers who often just take a markup cut from developing country prices to western prices.
"I think smaller indie chains are finding newer ways to get out there into new sites, such as us in our Market Hall partnership or Gentleman baristas in O2, as opposed to finding and funding full sites. Aside from that we v believe speciality coffee will grow as it becomes more mainstream and the customers demand quality for the same price as the chains.
Andy Wells, Co-founder, Press Coffee
"We see more people valuing not only the quality of their coffee but also the professionalism of every aspect of the business and its approach to things like sustainability, service standards and consistency. I believe there will be a number of independents that will continue to grow and become more and more influential in the market. I also believe there will be further acquisitions and purchases of these types of businesses from the trade as a result. I heard someone say that the coffee based ‘all day dining’ is pretty much casual dining 2.0.
"We are based in the Midlands so whilst we love to try all the new things coming out we do have to implement things a little slower. We see growth in fermented products and there is more room for growth since awareness has increased.”
Craig Bunting, co-founder, Bear
"For us this coming year is marrying craft with technology and innovation in the industry. We have been working on this by building our filter offer.
"You will see this increasingly in the the industry. Filter is a different brewing method and a large portion of it is automised. Within speciality there is a lot of focus on the artisan aspects but when it comes to filter coffee batch brew has tremendous potential. It still relies on having an amazing barista, with an amazing pallet to understand why the equipment is not producing something as special as it could be. It has a transformative potential for our business specifically because it is taking baristas that we train intensively in espresso and giving them something else that they can attune their pallet too.
You will see this more and more. It reflects a shift in thinking within the industry."
Jessica Worden, coffee manager, Gail's Artisan Bakery
“For 2019 we're expecting the popularity of alternative milks to increase still further, with oat asserting its dominance, and possibly new entrants coming in to challenge Oatly's position. We expect more solutions to the waste paper cup issue to pop up, hopefully ones which fit into existing recycling infrastructure rather than requiring a new stream.
"Speciality coffee capsules will be everywhere as Nespresso's hold on the market is challenged from all sides, and come summer we expect cold brew and canned coffee drinks to keep challenging the traditional iced coffee drinks.”
Rob Robertson, co-founder, Notes
“There has been a focus on the product but now I think it is about space.
Places are going to look more beautiful, they are going to look more tactile, they are going to be much more sensual places. Coffee shops until now have been very one dimensional and I think to a certain extend social media pushes that.
You are not just using the space but you have to think about how people are going to interact with the space".
Joao Almeida, head of coffee operations, Elan Cafe
“We are in an era where people tend to pay more attention to what they buy and the provenance and I expect this to continue in 2019.
There are so many tea brands now but there is room for education. The offer exceeds the demand and that is why I see a little saturation in the market. But that can be sorted out by increasing the level of education.
Customers expect premium brands not found in a supermarket. The tea does not come in a bag but is loose leaf, using proper time and proper water temperature.”
- For more information on European Coffee, Tea & Soft Drinks Expo, contact Sukhvir Hayre on +44 (0) 203 668 9809 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and check out stand and sponsorship options.