Jonny Forsyth is Associate Director, Mintel Food & Drink, monitoring and engaging with latest innovations and market developments in all alcohol and coffee categories.
The future of coffee depends on the industry investing much more time and energy and money into solving coffee’s pressing sustainability crisis, and this is one of the things covered in The Future of Coffee report: 2022. It is really interesting that in Canada, which is one of the biggest coffee markets in the world, only 16% of consumers thought that environmental certification was important when buying coffee – this compares to 45% who prioritise the brand when buying coffee. This is seen in other markets as well – sustainability is actually a really weak driver of consumer purchase. This shows consumers are still apathetic about sustainability, and they don’t understand that climate change could make coffee a rare and expensive luxury within a generation.
Over the next two years, brands will need to become educators and activists, while prioritising deeper sustainable solutions, for example, regenerative farming over, say, just recycling. In the next five years, lab-grown coffee will emerge as a product in supermarket aisles and it will play an important role in solving coffee sustainability crisis if they can truly replicate the taste of the ‘real thing’. Brands should consider acquiring start-ups or developing their own lab-grown technology to future-proof themselves. To find out more about this and other coffee topics, please get in touch!