A morning cup of coffee was once the norm for the average American. But now, the norm is three, maybe even four cups of coffee to get the day started.
As the coffee industry continues to grow in 2023, consumers demand a higher level of convenience and quality when choosing their preferred drink. Coffee shops are now required to provide options that can be whipped up quickly, taste great, and align with consumers’ health and environmental viewpoints.
This highly competitive market demands new marketing tactics that connect with guests to get them through the door. Let’s dive deeper into the coffee shop trends of 2024 to find innovative solutions that will help your shop stand out from the rest.
1. Target Younger Audiences
In 2023, 74% of Americans now drink coffee. This wide audience wants their cup of coffee to be a statement about themselves, and they’re looking for something that’s made sustainably and is healthy.
One way you can connect with this audience is through the sourcing of your ingredients. Find sustainable ingredients from your local farmers and roasters, Fairtrade certified farms, or vendors who work with the UTZ Certified seal. These resources increase the credibility of your coffee to this generation.
2. Explore Artisan Drinks and Speciality Drinks
According to the National Coffee Association’s 2023 National Coffee Data Trends Specialty Coffee Breakout Report, 52% of US consumers aged 18 or above reported drinking specialty coffee in the previous week. The reason they are so popular with coffee drinkers is the care and attention to detail that goes into them.
Creating artisan and specialty drinks means that you put a high level of importance on quality throughout the entire supply chain. Sourcing ingredients locally will help differentiate your coffee shop in the market and justify consumers paying a premium price for your cups.
3. Use Milk Alternatives
Plant-based alternatives are continuing to grow in popularity. More consumers expect to have these options when they’re ordering. A great way to provide this option to your customers is through non-dairy milk alternatives.
Oat milk is currently the preference of choice for the majority of this audience, but there are other options such as soy, almond, rice, and cashew milk that can serve as great replacements for traditional milk.
Having a variety of milk options can also benefit your specialty drink menu, giving customers a variety of ways to personalize their cups to their liking.
4. Consider a Stretched Coffee Concept
We’ve talked about how you can think outside the box to find ways to set your coffee apart from the crowd, but you can also think outside the cup entirely. Get creative in how you deliver the coffee flavor that so many crave with coffee flavored ice cream, popsicles, or chocolate bars. As of 2023, 48% of Americans enjoy coffee ice cream, 30% drink Irish coffee, 24% enjoy coffee liqueur, 14% like espresso martinis, and 10% enjoy coffee soda. This will give your guests more reasons to visit the store throughout the day, instead of only for their morning cup of joe.
5. Allow Custom Ordering
As of 2023, three out of four Americans use coffee enhancement flavors and sweeteners. The ultimate way of giving your customers a cup that connects with them is through custom ordering. This trend has been on the rise for a while and allows customers to create their own coffee masterpieces.
As a business owner, this strategy can give you great insights into your customers’ preferences. Using POS systems that allow for menu modifications means you can track what toppings and extras are your best sellers. This will help you find what suppliers and roasters your customers prefer and allow you to plan your future strategies accordingly.
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