Coffee is an industry which has blown up in recent years. It is a myth that coffee is the second most popular commodity traded in the world but it is in the top 10, and rarely does such rapid growth occur so quickly. We explore why the coffee industry has experienced such overwhelming growth and what impact it has had on our lifestyles. Why is barista-style coffee such an ‘in’ product, and is it here to stay?
In some parts of the world, coffee has always been popular, but in others, 20 years ago an instant cup of joe was the best most of us got, so what has made the changes?
We have a lot of American cultures to thank, as shows like Friends (centered around a coffee shop) have grown so immensely in popularity, coffee became ‘fashionable’. Big corporations like Starbucks quickly spread the word and this trickled down to connoisseurs and independent coffee shops.
In the fast-paced life we all tend to live today, a growth in takeaway coffee has also made all the difference. A system that allows us to quickly grab a takeaway coffee cup before work or while you’re doing your shopping means that sales of the commodity started to soar.
Countries such as the UK have seen huge growth. A Mintel study found that in a period of just five years, the coffee sales market rose by over 35% and was up from £2.4 billion in 2011 to a huge £3.4 billion in 2016.
Coffee companies have been competing by adding new blends, new origins of coffee and methods of preparation, and in doing so have made such a wide range of drinks that there is bound to be something for everyone. Coffee is not instant, nor is it the standard batch brewed coffee we associate with American diners, and the ‘espresso-based’ coffee revolution has made all the difference to the way we consume. 20 years ago a ‘latte’ was a very different thing to what it is today.
Coffee equipment has improved and become more fashionable, and the drinks are easier to come across. We even have drive-through coffee shops nowadays. The ease of access to a personalized coffee whether you love Latte or Soya Hazelnut Mocha with Sprinkles has meant that coffee is not just a hot drink but its own little subculture.