Specialty Coffee

February 6, 2013: What’s the Brew Ha Ha?

The specialty coffee trend shows no signs of cooling off. In fact, according to The Specialty Coffee Consumer report from the Specialty Coffee Association of America, sales of specialty coffee are once again on the rise, after a dip (likely recession-related) in 2010.

Overall, specialty coffee represents 37 percent of the approximately $32 billion U.S. coffee market. Daily coffee consumption among 18- to 24-year-olds stands at 40 percent (up from a low of 31 percent in 2010), while 54 percent of 25- to 39-year-olds drink at least a cup a day. (These numbers will likely rise again when the 2012 statistics are released.)

The demand for specialty coffee (particularly the Arabica variety) is also on the rise in the emerging nations, particularly in Brazil, India and China. The Specialty Coffee Consumer report attributes this to the “growing middle classes” in these nations that are demanding good coffee. This has put the Arabica bean in high demand. In fact, experts predict that within the next few years, Brazil will replace America as the largest coffee-consuming market in the world.

If you want to target the specialty coffee drinker in your establishment, remember you’re targeting consumers who justify paying more for a cup of coffee because “it simply tastes better.” They don’t always know or really care why it tastes better, but cite the “taste, flavor and aroma” as decisive factors when ordering coffee.

Another reason consumers are drawn to specialty coffee is the “café experience,” which provides a “social, stimulating, indulgent and pleasurable” environment. Make sure your shop offers a “great atmosphere, ambiance and environment” which makes these coffee lovers think they have “time to relax, savor and enjoy.”