Unboxed: Flavors, functions and formats adding buzz to the coffee category

Drink it hot or chilled, flash-, fresh- or cold-brewed, steeped or as a shot… there’s no doubt that coffee is still America’s favorite beverage. These 15 brands are taking consumers' love of coffee to the next level.

Adrienne Smith, Content Director

October 6, 2020

15 Slides

The coffee industry is yet another sector that’s been turned on its ear this year by the effects of COVID-19. As Americans began and continued to work from home in staggering numbers, the booming take-out (and drink-in) coffee category took a huge hit. During its reporting of 2020 third-quarter fiscal results, Starbucks, for example, estimated having missed out on $3.1 billion in sales due to changes in consumer behavior and other factors tied to COVID-19.

On the grocery front, Julie Terrazzino, the senior category manager of beverages for KeHE, has observed a lot of customers making the switch to at-home caffeine sources like coffee and tea as they spend their workdays within reach of their home kitchens.

Even so, reaching for a can of RTD cold-brew coffee is still a growing trend, despite challenges experienced by these grab-and-go favorites during pandemic stockpiling earlier this year. Part of the reason for the mega-popularity of cold brew coffee in particular is a smooth taste profile that makes it easier to drink without any added sugar—a plus for the growing cadre of sugar-averse Americans. The category has also seen a lot of innovation in terms of products using plant-based milks, as well as the addition of added, wellness-promoting functional and/or immunity-boosting ingredients.

The 15 products featured in this gallery represent different ways with coffee—each with its own ingredient profile, sourcing story, packaging format and brewing method. Nitro, beans, concentrate, black, latte, functional or extra strong, when it comes to coffee innovation, these products have got it covered.  

Be sure to check out the products with the Product Discovery Zone Brand logo on the Spark Change platform.

About the Author(s)

Adrienne Smith

Content Director, New Hope Network

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