Not Such a Winter Wonderland This Year…

I love wintertime — the cold and snow (but not the wind), wearing my ridiculously warm hat, boots, colourful scarves, and a coat that makes me look like an Eskimo or the Michelin woman, as well as the excuse to over-use my French Press making coffee all day long. My favorite part of winter is when the snow begins sticking to the ground and the trees because New York City starts to look magical, like a Norman Rockwell painting. When the opportunity arises and if I have the time, I’ll fill a to-go cup with coffee and head to Central Park to marvel at the splendor of the snow-covered fields, footbridges, frozen ponds, and of course, the many, many trees. Living in an apartment in NYC I do not have to worry about scraping ice off my car in order to drive to work or shoveling snow just to exit the front door; I can simply walk out my building and enjoy the beauty.

Well, not so much this year. Now I understand why people in the suburbs despise winter. I’ve been spending January as a temporary “snowbird” in New Orleans (Louisiana), where the climate is similar to Florida. But 2018 has brought extreme cold to much of the US along with a new word — bombogenesis or bomb cyclone (I guess “polar vortex” was too passé). So rather than the 60-70+ degree temperatures I was expecting (I brought only two lightweight sweaters with me and not my heavy winter coat, hat or boots), the temperature has been below freezing for several days, New Orleans is not prepared for this type of weather (the meteorologists, with their foreboding tones, acted as though it was the “storm of the century!”). Roads began icing over, and advisories were issued about water and pipes (which are not insulated here) and outside faucets. So, after making sure we had enough water and working flashlights and lanterns, I went outside and proceeded to cover faucets and plants. Not fun to do in my Sketchers, thin gloves and lightweight coat — I like the cold, but I do not like to be cold!

The first thing I did after “securing the homestead” was have a hot cup of coffee, and then another and then… (followed by vino once the sun set!). But maybe I’m old school. According to Datassential, consumers are drinking iced coffee year-round, not just in warm weather. Iced lattes and iced cappuccinos are also growing in popularity, per Datassential. Furthermore, the NCA’s 2017 NCDT Study found that within Gen Z (13 to 18-year olds), 20% of past-day coffee drinkers drank a purchased ready-to-drink coffee in a bottle/can. This is the highest segment for RTDs within past-day.

Dunkin’ Donuts appears to be acknowledging the consuming habits of Gen Z with its “Next Gen” store that opened on 16 January. The new concept store, which is located in Quincy, Massachusetts, features an expanded, custom Grab & Go unit that includes bottled beverages.

Additionally, consumers are also drinking iced tea year-round, not just during the summer. Datassential reports that iced tea is now more likely to be consumed than hot tea.

So, whether your beverage of choice on a cold day is a hot cup of coffee, an iced latte or an iced tea, enjoy and stay warm!

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