After over two years of life in the pandemic, a lot has changed for the coffee industry, especially as it relates to business and keeping up with new consumer habits and trends. One thing we can find comfort in knowing though is that delicious seasonal coffee trends will always be in demand!
Now that the fall season is officially upon us, customers are craving flavors and recipes that bring them comfort while also offering up new, interesting experiences. Pumpkin spice has already started drawing serious excitement as foodservice businesses advertise their newest approaches to the timeless classic. Tap into some of these current trends to increase sales during the fall and winter months this year:
Seasonal Cold Brew & Iced Coffee
Cold coffee drinks are lucrative menu items that restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes need to be offering year-round, regardless of outdoor temperatures. Millennial and Gen Z coffee consumers in particular have driven this rise in popularity and will be excited to see their favorite seasonal flavors blended with their favorite preparation methods.
The preference for cold brew and iced coffee, even in the winter months, can be attributed to several key factors.
- Many sweet flavor profiles (chocolate, caramel, and vanilla) become even more pronounced at colder temperatures.
- Cold coffee beverages are often preferred by health-conscious customers due to their tendency to be lower in carbs, calories, and sugar compared to indulgent smoothies and milkshakes.
- Popular fall and winter flavors, such as pumpkin spice, peppermint, and cinnamon, are great contenders for cold brew and iced coffee options.
“Crispy” Coffee Drinks
The demand for fun and interesting seasonal beverages reaches its prime time in the fall. This year, the experimental concept of “crispy” and “crunchy” beverage recipes is expected to have a top spot on seasonal coffee menus. The trend has particularly seen a spike among young consumers who want to add extra depth to classic beverages like lattes and mochas. Furthermore, most of these crisp-themed recipes are easy to make and look aesthetically pleasing for features on share-worth holiday social media posts that can help drive more holiday traffic to your business.
Baristas are taking creative approaches to achieve crispiness by using salt, sugar crystals, gingerbread crumbles, caramel crunch, chocolate crisp, and other unique additions. Consider adding new menu items like Apple Crisp Macchiato, Gingerbread Latte, or Salted Caramel Cold Brew to build excitement and cater to nostalgic fall and winter flavor cravings.
Second only to pumpkin spice, apple cider flavor in coffee and tea is making a major comeback on seasonal menus as its comforting spiced flavor profile signals the onset of cooler temperatures and cozy days. Apple cider is a versatile flavor that relies on a few basic ingredients that you’ll likely already have behind your counter – apple juice (naturally sourced or from the grocery shelf), cinnamon, cloves, and brown sugar. It also plays well with other quintessential fall flavors like chai, maple, and caramel.
Its versatility and accessibility make it possible to get very creative with its application. From Spiced Apple Cider Latte to Apple Cider Chai Tea, this cozy classic is a great flavor that can be easily applied across your menu and even in your food options. Pro tip: apple cider coffee cakes and bakery items pair well with Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Maple Flavored Coffee as well.
New Plant-Based Milks & Proteins
Though non-dairy milk has been an increasingly popular coffee add-in for a few years now, the emergence of new options makes this ongoing trend worth mentioning. Since holiday-themed beverages are typically known for their indulgent qualities, many consumers will be looking for ways that they can still enjoy sweet options but as guilt-free as possible.
Almond and oat milk continue to be front runners but other emerging non-dairy milks customers will be interested in trying include cashew, hemp, hazelnut, and sesame milks. Furthermore, the market for plant-based protein and nutrition powders that mix well with non-dairy milks, like collagen and whey protein supplements, is making its mark on coffee and tea menus. Many of these flavored and non-flavored powders blend easily in both hot and cold beverages and add an extra benefit for customers looking to stay in shape through the colder months.
Major foodservice chains are already serving fall favorites and teasing some of their upcoming winter novelties, encouraging consumers to lean into their desire for heart-warming flavors and drinks. If you don’t already have a plan to incorporate seasonal coffee trends into your menu, it’s not too late to examine how you can creatively enhance your menu to prepare you for a successful remainder of the year.
Need help getting in on the fall and winter trends for 2022 or want to expand your menu offerings with higher-quality coffee? Reach out to Gaviña Coffee Solutions for more information!