Gourmet and premium coffee

The US market for coffee falls into 4 major segments: ground/whole beans, single cup/pods, ready-to-drink (RTD) and instant/premix.

The consumer trends that particularly influenced this market in 2015 were premium/gourmet, health and wellness, organic, single origin / estate, third wave (craft/artisanal) and clean label. In the US, coffee is consumed in the food service, at home and workplace. Due to the growing  taste for premium or gourmet coffee , sales leans towards espresso-based coffee (with cold brew as a subset of this) with single cup / pods and ground/whole beans being the most popular segments. Although the ready to drink (RTD)  segment is also popular, consumers only drink them weekly or monthly, whereas the single cup/pods are consumed multiple times per day both at home and at the workplace. The instant/premix segment, popular in the 1970s in the US, is not as popular today.

Functional beverages reflect the current trend for clean label, functionality, organic/ non-GMO and no or low sugar content. These beverages include segments such as performance drinks (supporting endurance and physical activity), nutraceutical or botanical drinks (including teas) for the nutritional benefits and hybrid functional beverages (such as coconut water which addresses sport, children’s health and general fortification). Along these lines, botanicals may serve as a platform for innovation in the coffee market too, in the US.


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