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Coffee trends 2

January 29, 2011

I stand corrected and again acknowledge that I oversimplified by reducing coffee drinkers to the two end-of-the-line groups. As pointed out by Julie Fisher in LinkedIn, there is a “massive market between the two”, meaning the people who are not high-end gourmets but still demand good taste and fragrance in their coffee, simply because they savor it slowly and the jolt is not a priority for them.

My point is that marketers should direct our efforts two ways. One is toward pressing the growers to be more selective, more careful with quality control in harvesting, pulping, drying and selecting in order to produce coffee with as few defects as possible so their coffee yields the best characteristics. Incidentally, this is the only way that they can demand better prices. In the words of Dr. Andrea Illy: “Coffee is the Perfect Esthetical Experience”, a concept that is perfectly understood by those of us who love coffee.

The other way is to convey Dr. Illy’s concept to the Guzzlers. This is a difficult task and we need as much support as possible. This support can come from several sources.

For instance, AXE recently ordered a survey related to the “science of attraction” asking women what scents in men attract them the most. In NYC the survey found that “females are apparently most attracted to male dates if they sense a coffee aroma”.

In Australia, several renowned chefs are serving coffee with their dinners instead of wine. Naturally, they are choosing Cup of Excellence, single origins and some varietals, treating coffee with the same respect that they treat wine.

In Israel, coffee is enjoyed in many different ways but Turkish is the most widely preferred. They call it botz (mud) and it is very popular.

Then, we must direct our efforts to:
1. Increase the market size of the Gourmets by constantly rendering the best quality and by attracting the “market between the two” with a supply of excellent coffees.
2. Convincing the Guzzlers that coffee is to be enjoyed and not simply gulped. In the words of Lisa’s comments in LinkedIn, coffee must be a go-to item, something that shoppers take a time to select and to taste and buy minding their senses and not their pockets. Besides, we should probably campaign against coffee being served in paper or polyurethane cups; again Dr. Illy says that “coffee is the body, the cup is the dress” meaning that coffee should be served in proper cups. By the way, you will never see anyone drinking tea or wine in paper or plastic cups. We should demand this same respect for coffee.
3. The young. Two points to consider here: bitterness and the jiggle. Some varietals are less bitter and besides there are ways to modify this particular flavor, such as sweeteners (ugh!), milk and flavorings (hazelnut, vanilla, etc.). As for the jerkiness, we will need to evangelize against coffee as an energy drink. We must remove this ugly label from our favorite drink.

The next step is to device strategies to pursue these goals.




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