#Trendspotting: Not Your Average (Cup Of) Joe

 In Blog, Trendspotting

Your source for the most up-to-date information on emerging beverage trends.


The coffee market is booming! According to Mintel, the U.S. coffee market is worth $15.1 billion and is expected to grow 22.7% through 2024. RTD coffee is the fastest growing sub-segment and is driving significant growth in the overall market. New delivery methods, functional ingredients and adding alcohol are the latest innovations in the category.

N Preparation Innovation | Bigger Boosts | Boozy Brews

Preparation Innovation

There are many factors that can impact your cup of coffee, such as the type of beans used, whether or not creamer is added, temperature, brew method and textural infusions. Brands are experimenting with these differentiators to create a unique product that is also the perfect cup.


Atomo! Molecular Coffee is a Seattle-based startup developing bean-free coffee made from upcycled plant ingredients. The company molecularly mapped conventional coffee and rebuilds it “from the atom up” using plants that mirror elements of an everyday brew.


Royal Kitchen Co. introduced kegs that allow consumers to enjoy an unlimited number of nitrogen-infused cold brews from the comfort of home. Users add their favorite cold brew to the keg and twist on a nitrogen capsule to create thick, velvety coffee without having to break social distancing.


Sleepy Owl Coffee comes in individually wrapped coffee bags and is designed to be brewed like tea. Each bag contains high-quality beans that are ground and sealed immediately after roasting. They also come in recyclable packaging which makes them more sustainable than most single-serve coffee pods.


Jot Ultra Coffee is a one-stop-shop for creating coffee-based beverages. Using a proprietary extraction process, Jot created a product that is 20 times more concentrated than regular coffee. One tablespoon of Jot can be used to create a cup of coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, Americano’s, frappés and more.


Nescafé is a leader in instant coffee products, so it’s not surprising that they were one of the first brands to launch a ready-to-mix dairy alternative latte. The mixes come in three SKUs: almond latte, oat latte and coconut latte. They are only available in parts of Europe at this time, but the brand announced plans for wider distribution in the future.

Bigger Boosts

Although coffee already delivers a healthy dose of caffeine to increase energy and improve performance, there’s been an uptick in brands incorporating other functional ingredients into coffee for an even bigger boost. Functional coffee – or what some might call “super coffee” – is especially attractive for consumers who demand convenient formats and enjoy getting multiple benefits from a single product.

Quokka Brew is positioned as a “jitterless coffee.” The Indigogo-funded innovation is infused with nootropic ingredients, including blueberry extract, ginseng, l-theanine and green tea leaf extract. The enhanced cold brew also incorporates Madagascar vanilla and oat milk.


Coffee products that incorporate fats like MCT oil and butter have grown in popularity over the last few years thanks to consumers adopting diets like keto, paleo and bulletproof. AvocaJoe is the first fat-enhanced RTD coffee made with avocado oil. The product is also free of dairy, nuts, grains, gluten and sugar.


Many brands jumping on the CBD bandwagon are using coffee to deliver the cannabis-derived compound. CBD-enhanced coffee is suggested to improve energy, mood and focus. Crazy Calm offers CBD-infused coffee in a convenient instant-brew format. The brand also lab tests every batch to ensure product quality.


Bulletproof Coffee is a leader in fat-infused coffee products. The brand’s collagen-enhanced cold brew is made with grassfed butter, brain octane oil (a proprietary MCT oil) and 15 mg of collagen. Suggested benefits of the beverage include long-lasting energy, satiety, improved joint health and enhanced hair, skin and nails.

Boozy Brews

There’s been an explosion of RTD coffee cocktails over the last year from both entrepreneurial brands and major players. Since both RTD coffee and cocktails are experiencing strong growth, expect a proliferation of products that combine the two categories.


Kahlúa’s RTD nitro cold brew combines coffee, rum and their signature coffee liqueur. The cocktail is packaged in a widget can to create a smooth, creamy texture without additional calories.


La Colombe partnered with Miller Coors to create a limited-release hard cold brew coffee. The product combined La Colombe’s medium-roasted Colombian and Brazilian cold brew coffees, cane sugar, natural flavors and malt liquor.


Mad Bean Coffee was designed to be a twist on a traditional Irish coffee. The beverage is a combination of malt liquor, iced coffee and cream. The hard coffee is available in mocha and vanilla flavors.

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