Coffee at a Crossroad: 3 Industry Trends to Watch in 2019

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From functional ingredients to sustainable practices, new consumer values are transforming market trends.

The following post originally appeared in Tea & Coffee Trade Journal


The coffee industry is again going through a transformation, driven by shifting consumer values in an increasingly connected global landscape.

Today, people are using their purchasing decisions to support companies that reflect their values and introduce new innovations.

“The theme of this year’s NCA Convention [March 7-9, 2019 in Atlanta] is ‘coffee at a crossroads.’ In this time of unprecedented change, the decisions we make today as an industry will determine our direction in the years to come,” says Bill Murray, NCA President & CEO.

Here’s what to watch (and watch out for) in the year ahead:

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Two Compounds in Coffee May Work Together to Fight Parkinson’s and Protect Brain Health

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New research suggests that coffee’s potential health benefits are about more than caffeine.

via ScienceDaily


Rutgers scientists have found a compound in coffee that may team up with caffeine to fight Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia — two progressive and currently incurable diseases associated with brain degeneration.

The discovery, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests these two compounds combined may become a therapeutic option to slow brain degeneration.

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From Invisibility Towards Inclusivity: Building Diversity In the Coffee Industry

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Daiane Vital embracing her mother Vanilda de Souza Vital, south of Minal Geraris Brazil. Photo: Danielle Sereio

“The industry must do a better job at telling coffee’s history, beyond those who carried the bean throughout different parts of the world…”
– Phyllis Johnson, BD Imports, NCA Board Member


In the most recent issue, Roast Magazine published an insightful and important article by Phyllis Johnson, NCA board member and BD Imports president & co-founder.

Strong Black Coffee, Why Aren’t African Americans More Prominent in The Coffee Industry?” features perspectives from 14 black coffee professionals.

The following is a summary of the original piece, with new reflections and an update from Johnson’s recent trip to Brazil during International Coffee Week.

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New Report: Coffee Linked To Lower Diabetes Risk

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Research suggests coffee associated with approximately 25% lower risk of type 2 diabetes

via the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) 


A report titled “Coffee and type 2 diabetes: A review of the latest research” highlights the potential role of coffee consumption on the reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and the potential mechanisms involved.

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A Bitter Buzz: The Psychology Behind Our Love of Coffee

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A new study found that coffee drinkers are actually more sensitive to the bitter taste of caffeine.

Coffee is a complex beverage – and it’s experienced differently by everyone.

Your appreciation (or not) of coffee is largely driven by genetics, which control a host of factors raging from your caffeine tolerance to sensory perception.

A new study from Northwestern University, recently published in Scientific Reports, found that coffee lovers aren’t less sensitive to the bitter taste of coffee – instead, the opposite is true.

This suggests an interesting psychological phenomenon behind our love of coffee.

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Infographic: 2018 Specialty Coffee Consumption Stats

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Learn more about US coffee consumption trends:  For a limited time only,  we’re taking 25% off all of the NCA 2018 Coffee Snapshot Reports


via Square

The data geeks over at Square and the SCA recently released some interesting statistics about how and when Americans are getting their caffeine fix.

From the iced coffee vs. cold-brew debate to the new alt milk, here’s a breakdown of what Americans are ordering at their local coffee shops each day:

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4 Practical Ways to Teach Second Wave Consumers About Third Wave Coffee

[Editor’s note: If you have no idea what this title means, check out this infographic explaining third wave coffee.]

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The following post originally appeared on Perfect Daily Grind
Written by E. Squires and edited by T. Newton

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent countless hours reading, researching, tasting, traveling, and diving deeper into our favorite drink. You love reading about farmers and their best practices. You spend hours perfecting your brew methods and your espresso shots.

But many, if not most, of your customers won’t be as interested in the minutiae of TDS and coffee processing methods. They simply want a shot of caffeine (plus or minus sugar). Sure, some customers will come for a quality coffee experience. A select few will even want to know everything. But these will be in the minority.

The thing about us in the Third Wave is that we’re desperate to share specialty coffee with everybody – but we can’t. Great customer service means understanding your customers and meeting them where they are, whether it’s simply a morning caffeine fix or a matter of helping them along their coffee journey in small steps.

Yet while you can’t force your customers to appreciate coffee like you do, you can open the door and allow them to walk through it. Getting the balance is hard, so we’ve come up with four practical ways to teach people about Third Wave coffee without preaching or being intimidating.

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Infographic: The Millennial Coffee Market Is Lit

* [Ed. note: Millennial translation gifs available here]

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Millennials are really into their coffee. (It’s no coincidence that BuzzFeed recently launched their own roast … sold through a personality quiz.)

But not all cups are created equal.

Just like the cloud, “coffee” often means something different for the 19-35 year old demographic than it does for previous generations. In fact, Millennial behavior and attitudes are transforming the coffee market. (For starters, they really love espresso.)

But what do these changing consumption trends mean for the future of the coffee industry?

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