One of the largest markers of our time is an incredibly rich coffee culture. Consumers have embraced specialty coffee drinks, customizing and experimenting to their hearts’ delight. That culture has shifted their expectations when dining out, and they seek out those coffee shop classics at every turn.
For younger consumers, that expectation is even more embedded, as they have grown up as the Coffee Shop Generation, where customization, flavor layering and always-something-new-to-try is steeped into their DNA. Here are three ways to give them those classics, updated with trending flavor profiles.
Pumpkin spice lattes rule the fall, but demonstrate a serious demand for seasonal specials. Gingerbread and vanilla lattes with gingerbread men garnishes, eggnog lattes enriched with nutmeg and cinnamon, and a cinnamon Dutch apple pie latte. And back to the PSL—update that fan favorite with a hint of garam masala.
Elevate this comfort classic, with combinations like white chocolate and miso or dark chocolate and chile; or go toward the Instagrammable, with dark chocolate, peppermint syrup, crushed peppermint rim and a giant peppermint swizzle; or melted milk chocolate with a roasted marshmallow plume.
Whether starring cold brew or regular coffee, it seems that younger consumers love their iced coffees, flavored with everything from blueberry and raspberry to toasted almond and coconut. In fact, 66 percent of Millennials drink iced coffee compared to 34 percent of Gen X, according to Mintel. Next-wave flavor combinations include basil- and mint-infused syrup and toasted coconut syrup and almond milk. Consider making a cold-brew affogato, but sub out the hot coffee with a glass of iced coffee, maybe spiked with vanilla and cinnamon.
Whether starring cold brew or regular coffee, it seems that younger consumers love their iced coffees, flavored with everything from blueberry and raspberry to toasted almond