With a new year, comes new predicted global beverage trends
Happy New Year! It was only days ago that the Christmas and New Year’s holidays officially ended, taking with them our relatively ‘guilt-free’, eager indulging of deliciously decadent, rich, high-caloric foods and beverages. Now that the new year has started, we are back to our daily health regimes or trying to adhere to New Year’s resolutions. And, of course, along with diets and resolutions come the subsequent trends for the upcoming year from food and beverage suppliers and global market research firms.
As part of its annual Global Beverage Trends Report, B2B tea, coffee and extracts supplier Finlays has outlined five key trends that are predicted to impact the beverage industry over the next twelve months (and beyond). Finlays’ top global beverage trends for 2024 are:
- Fast Fad-sion — the ‘fad’ trend cycle in consumer behaviour represents the rapid rise and fall of popular trends, often driven by social media and influencers. From viral coffee concoctions (remember Dalgona coffee during pandemic lockdowns?) to ‘the next big ingredient’ in wellness, consumers embrace and move on from these trends swiftly. Finlays notes this presents both opportunities and challenges for beverage companies, which must stay nimble and be ready to innovate and adapt to ever-changing consumer preferences.
- Hyper Targeted Health — technology and data offering customized health solutions have revolutionized consumers’ attitudes to health and personal wellbeing. Individuals now have access to precise insights and recommendations tailored to their unique needs, from personalized nutrition plans to fitness routines and optimising mental performance. In the beverage sector, consumers can receive personalized tea blends and coffee roasts, utilizing data-driven recommendations to meet their health goals. (This also includes customizing additives, especially dairy-free ones such as almond milk and oatmilk.) “This empowers individuals to prioritize a holistic approach to their wellbeing, incorporating healthy beverages into their routines in place of traditional tablet-based supplements.”
- Statement Spending — within this trend, “consumers’ personal identities and values influence their purchasing decisions and shoppers seek products that align with their self-image and beliefs. For example, “individuals opt for artisanal, locally sourced coffees to showcase their support for sustainability and small-scale producers. While those seeking a health-conscious image may gravitate towards organic smoothies and wellness teas.” To cater to this trend, Finlays says brands must focus on authenticity, sustainability, and individual expression.
- Need for Speed — in the beverage industry, simplified customer payment processes are gaining momentum. “Coffee shops are using mobile apps to allow customers to order and pay in advance to reduce wait times, and consumers can get craft beer and speciality coffee delivered directly to their door via subscription services.” It’s no longer just the quality of a product which will win a brand the edge over its competitors, it’s also the convenience and speed of its delivery. Finlays believes brands can stay ahead by adopting innovative solutions that reduce spending friction for consumers – whether that’s greater access to products online, ease of delivery or speed of preparation.However, Matthew Barry, senior beverages analysts has spoken on several occasions about the path coffee shops must take following the pandemic and amid concerns of an impending recession (which, thankfully, keeps getting ‘pushed back’): they must either offer speed/convenience or experience. While many consumers want to ‘get in and get out’ with their coffee or tea (hence the rise in mobile orders and shores retrofitting their interiors to increase space to accommodate the growing number of mobile orders), others want an elevated in-store experience either through enhanced offerings, the look, feel and ‘vibe’ of the store, and of course, superior customer service.
- Actively Green — in today’s consumer landscape, brands must adopt proactive sustainability strategies that reflect increasingly green customer demands, which is certainly not ‘new news’. This has shifted from merely ‘reducing impacting’, to becoming ‘zero impact’ or even promoting regeneration/carbon negative. Finlays explains that collaborating with suppliers that offer full supply chain transparency is crucial for understanding environment impacts, gaining consumer trust and promoting environmental causes. “Effective communication of ethical credentials, encompassing charitable initiatives and transparent metrics such as carbon output, is essential to resonate with today’s conscientious consumers.”
Commenting on the report, Finlays’ director of strategy & insights, Sian Edwards, said: “The beverage industry shows no sign of slowing down. Health, sustainability, and the thirst for innovation continue to be driving forces behind category development and high rates of launch activity. Our top trends for this year highlight the need for beverage operators to tune into consumers and be highly reactive to their needs. More than ever, working with trusted partners who can provide support for innovation is vital to accessing these high growth opportunities.”
To download Finlays’ full Global Beverage Trends Report 2024 click here.
I wish everyone a healthy new year filled with joy, peace, prosperity and certainly lots of great coffee and tea! Cheers!
- Vanessa L Facenda, editor, Tea & Coffee Trade Journal.
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