WattsUp Trend Watch – Cutting-Edge Caffeination

New Age Coffee RTDs

There is so much exciting innovation happening in the world of coffee that we are literally just scratching the surface in this Trend Watch report! The Ready to Drink (RTD) space is particularly hot right now. While some local brands are getting on board, the US and Asia are home to many of these innovative products.

In general, we’ve seen a huge spike in the popularity of cold coffee drinks. This is partially due to the preference Gen Z have for them. This presents a threat to the traditional hot coffee market, with some pundits suggesting this preference will eventually reshape the whole market. Some very creative products have been launched in the coffee RTD space. Everything from blueberry ice-lattes and churros-inspired coffee through to chocolate stout cold-brew. And on the other hand, we’re also seeing many new coffee launches calling out their functional benefits. ‘Same old’ is no longer good enough for consumers. As Mintel notes, nowadays coffee brands need to either provide excellent value for money or offer a premium point of difference.

As well as this, sustainability will become increasingly important in this space. Growing coffee has a significant environmental impact, and production will likely be impacted by climate change in the coming years. Consumers are becoming more focused on the environment and sustainability, and coffee brands will need to start proving their credentials.

Lastly, Direct to Consumer (DTC) and online coffee subscriptions are touted to become the ‘new normal’ in this area. ‘Trade Coffee’, for example, sells DTC and has been called ‘The Netflix of Coffee’ due to their recommendation system. It’s an interesting change and one that we should all keep across.

In this WattsUp Trend Watch report, we look at how brands are differentiating their offerings through both indulgence and functionality.


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