As a result of coffee being America’s favorite hot beverage and the rising popularity of iced coffee, I am constantly aggregating online information about coffee innovation. What will be coffee’s next wave?
Industry experts view the evolution of the coffee movement in three waves:
1. First Wave – Ground coffee sold mostly in cans in supermarkets.
2. Second Wave – Coffee was more than fuel, it was an experience (a.k.a. Starbucks).
3. Third Wave – Coffee brewed from beans that express themselves – premium sourced, then roasted in small, artisanal production.
Consumers are not only currently catching the Third Wave at their independent coffee shops and fine dining establishments, but also at branded National Chains – McDonald’s (McCafé), Burger King (BK Joe), Chick-fil-A (Farmer-Direct), etc. Seasonal coffees (e.g., Pumpkin, Peppermint, etc.) have become an integral part of the Third Wave, as well at its latest edition, cold brewed coffee. Cold brewed coffee is made by soaking ground beans in cold water for hours for a richer, less bitter taste.
So what will be the next wave of coffee? Some experts predict coffee drinks that mimic cocktails, shots of coffee made with bitters and citrus flavors. How about coffee enhanced with protein? Starbucks just introduced a new variety of its Doubleshot ready-to-drink beverage line that packs 20g of protein into each can. Better yet, what about offering a coffee in an edible cup so consumers will be able to enjoy their coffee and eat their cup too! In England, KFC is testing an edible cup made from special wafer coated in sugar paper lined with a heat-resistant white chocolate.
Coffee, the next wave! Enjoy your java and save the environment too!