While it may seem like nothing could really be ‘new’ with a drink that has been around for hundreds of years, nonetheless, there always seems to be something new coming out of your local coffee shop. While it might not always be a new roasting process or brewing method, the difference is always something that is new or new in popularity. While it’s been ages since the pumpkin spice came out, and cold-brew is just about everywhere, there needs to be something new to set apart the average coffee shop from the above average one.
The newest trend though isn’t so much about the coffee in the cup, but more about the way it gets there. While coffee prices haven’t seemed to change much at the register in recent years, we expect to get a whole coffee experience when we walk in somewhere, whether it’s an enjoyable experience before we are back out the door or a long visit to a coffee shop that might act as a second living room or office almost.
According to S&D, a bit of a leader in the industry, the new thing is all about sustainability. If you are relatively knowledgeable about what goes into your morning cup, aside from how it tastes, then you know that coffee is a very particular crop. With climate change looking like a more dire and dire cause, it is more important than ever to try and minimize our impact on the environment. Whether you believe in sustainability when it comes to coffee for the purely selfish reason of preserving coffee plantations or for more progressive reasons though doesn’t matter really.
Companies for years have brought together things like social issues with the comfort that comes with a cup of coffee. One bag of beans may contain a one dollar donation one year, while the next a company may go fully free trade or rainforest-friendly. Young consumers may not have as much money as their parents did at the same point in their lives, but they are being stingier with it and looking at how companies view social issues as well. This puts more pressure on companies to do right in order to make a sale. While this may not be a feasible thing to look into for every single purchase we might make every day, for a common convenience like a cup of coffee from down the street it may just make a difference.