Coffee Megatrend #2: Coffee IS a Culinary Decision

By John Buckner — SVP, National Account Sales


As the largest coffee and tea manufacturer and supplier to restaurants and convenience stores in America, we are in tune with the trends of the away from home market for coffee — which entails 10 billion servings annually and is growing at a 6 percent clip. In this blog series, we will walk through 10 mega trends we’re seeing in the coffee industry.

Coffee is our first and last taste of the day, making it one of our most powerful habits.

“To start my day” is the number reason people name for drinking coffee, and 65 percent of coffee is consumed before noon.  Of course, at the other end of the day, nothing tastes better with dessert than a coffee beverage.

In restaurants, the chief officer in charge of taste is the chef.  And, in our world, the chefs make all the big taste decisions.

Our second megatrend is: coffee IS a culinary decision, and the taste profile is increasingly used in many recipes.

Diversity is a key reason.

Coffee is widely differentiated by region, terroir, roast, throw and brew method. It also comes in a broad array of different formats:  fresh roast and ground, dried and liquid concentrate.

Plus, you can’t easily emulate coffee with a chemical flavor. It has such a distinct taste profile, and it is inherently natural.

In addition to being a perfect complement to a meal, coffee is an ingredient used in all sorts of recipes now. In fact, S&D has worked with the executive chef of an upscale fine dining restaurant chain on a decaffeinated Hawaiian Kona coffee blend for a steak rub – and the resulting menu item is now their most popular steak.

With the increased importance of coffee as a culinary factor, we recognized that we needed to look beyond the purchasing department and into the culinary department.

It used to be that food was the driver of venue at breakfast, but that’s shifting to coffee as the destination driver and a consumer mindset that ‘I’ll eat whatever food they have for me.’

So now, with this sort of data and the versatility of coffee as an ingredient, I think we have the chef’s attention.  They recognize the importance of coffee, and our future will be mighty tastier because of that.

Miss the first post in this series? Check out Coffee Megatrend #1: Coffee IS a Healthier for You Beverage and stay tuned for more coffee megatrends, which we’ll be addressing in future blog posts.