The explosion of coffee culture all over the world is a fantastic period for the industry, but some things are going to shift this year; well, that’s according to some new predictions from one of the local industry’s pioneers, Dando coffee‘s Friedl Basson.
Focus on quality
As expected, customers are abandoning inferior coffee in droves – and flocking instead to enjoy the best speciality coffee that the world has to offer. “Gone are the days that product manufacturers could get away by simply selling a line to manipulate the client”, explains Basson. “With the ever-expanding cloud of information available on the internet and social media platforms, people are more knowledgeable than what most manufacturers would like them to be. Somewhat of a ‘fool-me-once’ culture is developing. Coffee roasters, like manufacturers in any other industry I suppose, will be forced to chose between producing price sensitive products, or manufacture quality products which clients are prepared to pay a premium for.”
Capsule coffee will fade, or at least change
Coffee capsules are cute, compact, and there’s a decent variety out there, and while many may think it’s the cheaper and most convenient option to get a decent cup-of-Joe, it’s actually far from it.
“This is an extremely sensitive subject which I – as an entrepreneur first and foremost – am extremely passionate about,” adds Basson. “Capsules will not be the be-all-and-end-all of innovation in the coffee industry. Not too long ago, no one would have ever thought there would be small little plastic pods producing coffee. We are a species that strive to evolve, we need to do better.”
So what is the future of coffee consumption then? Basson explains that change is definitely coming, in one form or another. “There will be something new, whether it is a dramatic change in the way capsule systems work, or simply a re-design of the current system, is yet to be seen. The impact plastic capsules have on the environment is simply too large to ignore.”
“With regards to OEM capsules, I think the demand will decline gradually. It will not take long for ‘capsule clients’ to realise that packaging pre-ground coffee in a non-modified atmosphere container, is detrimental to the quality of your coffee. I reckon if clients are willing to spend R5 for a cup of coffee, they will soon decide they might just as well spend R7 for the original product. These are not clients consuming an vast amounts of coffee, it might mean the different between R10.00 of R14.00 per day.”
Focus on sustainable packaging
With the focus on environmentally-friendly products and packaging, consumers will opt for brands that showcase their commitment to sustainability. Recyclable and eco-friendly packaging and processes will become more and more important as the industry grows; and Basson is a major advocate of this.
“Whether you agree with them or not, environmentalists are not going anywhere anytime soon and nor should they. We need to come to grips with the facts about what we are doing to this immaculate planet we call home. Consumers are slowly but surely becoming aware of these facts and will start supporting companies that are doing their fair share – and more – to save the environment.”
“Evolve or die,” proclaims Basson. “If you are under the illusion that you are excluded from this statement, you are in for a horrible surprise.”
Basson believes that there’s a huge demand for fresh ideas and unique spins on the traditional coffee formula.
“Consumers are being spoiled to the point where, if you do not offer something spectacular, they will simply turn elsewhere. It will become an absolute necessity in your business strategy which will lead to a range of exciting new products for consumers to indulge in.”
The increasing popularity of cold coffee brews will likely see more company’s taking a shot at the bottled phenomenon. Cold brew sales jumped up 580% between 2011 and 2016, according to a Mintel report. While a large part of these sales has been at coffee shops themselves, plenty of retail brands are also adding cold brew products to their lineups.
“Once uniquely available in high end coffee bars, cold brew coffees are already starting to make their way to retail level as RTD (ready to drink) products. I also think the current explosion of new coffee shops and artisan coffee brands will continue. There is no reason why not. Existing, larger roasters, are making it easier for small start-ups to establish a brand by contract roasting for them and simply rebranding the finished product. I do however think that there will be a bell-curve at some point where the so called ‘niche coffee brands’ might find it difficult to have a significant impact on coffee market. Consumers might be enticed by the niche of artisan roasters, but they will revert back to their coffee of choice eventually.”
Investment in quality machines
While coffee shops will always be a large attraction for caffeine-lovers, there’s a tendency for consumers to bolster their products at home, and the coffee industry is no different.
“There has been a substantial increase in the amount consumers are willing to spend on domestic appliances,” says Basson. “With an influx of affordable brands making their way into department stores (and credit facilities on offer) more and more coffee machines will make their way into coffee lovers’ homes. This will lead to an increase in coffee sales in main stream retail, as the average consumption per household owning a bean-2-cup machine, far outweighs that of households with plungers or percolators. So, good news for coffee roasters.”
Coffee enthusiasts are set to become far more economical with their coffee selections, while also being more willing to pay for quality. Sustainable and cost-efficient options (such as buying ground coffee or beans) and creating your own coffee will be more attractive.
“We cannot simply dismiss what is happening with the economy, so I predict a clear differential on the horizon,” proclaims Basson. “Consumers will either settle for the cheaper house brands which suits their budget, or, alternatively, they will dig a little deeper and buy a product they firmly believe in, manufactured by a company contributes towards social responsibility and cares for our environment.”
“If you are supplying a mediocre quality product and do not care for anything but your margins, you are setting yourself up for a rude awakening. Clients will become progressively more price sensitive or more loyal to your brand. If you cannot convince them of why you are doing what you are doing, they will simply jump ship and start looking into alternative brands, until they find what they are looking for.”
And when talking about good coffee, there’s only one option, really: Dando.
Brewed in Cape Town, Dando coffee is high-quality, premium coffee with a conscience. In addition to being delicious, full of flavour, and strong in presence, Dando is also about being philanthropically awesome, donating a significant portion of the profits from coffee sales to fund community projects, such as Liv Village, through the Dando Scholarship program.
Here are all the Dando coffees:
Dando Black (Dark Roast – Strong): A blend of finely selected beans from South America and East Asia that are perfectly roasted and specially blended for any espresso based coffee. Buy here.
Dando Blue (Medium – Decaffeinated): Made from the finest of Colombian beans naturally prepared and gently decaffeinated. Buy here.
Dando Gold (Medium Roast): A full-bodied coffee. It is deeply aromatic and rich, with a full, strong flavour. Made with a delicate balance of beans from South America. Buy here.
Dando Purple (Medium – Dark Roast): Superior African and Central American beans that create a mild yet flavoursome coffee. An excellent after dinner coffee variety. Buy here.
Dando Red (Dark Roast – Strong): A strong coffee with a typical Italian Character. Blended with dark roasted beans, it develops a distinctly hearty flavour. Buy here.
More coffee stuff to keep you busy: