The Gen Z Mindset Is Changing Coffee

The next generation of coffee trends is likely driven by new products and users, with a Gen Z mindset. This mindset is characterized by crowdsourcing restaurants from Uber or Lyft in unfamiliar cities or seeking time efficiency. Gen Z is leading a new movement built around product innovation and influencer marketing that is driving even more consumption. Coffee products are projected to grow in incremental servings faster in the next five years than any other beverage type, according to Technomic’s Away-From-Home Beverage report.

Traditional symbols of adulthood are shifting, with younger consumers starting to drink coffee at an average age of 15. Westrock Coffee, the largest supplier of coffee and tea products to restaurants across the United States, understands the demands of the market and how to serve a new generation of consumers and interests.

Modern consumers, especially younger ones, have demanded that the products they consume match the changing dynamic of their lifestyles. New categories in iced coffee, frozen blended coffees, and ready-to-drink platforms in cans have made the coffee drinking experience more accessible and easier to drink than ever before, and have allowed new flavor profiles to find an audience. This change has also created an opportunity for younger consumers to lead a charge away from traditional usage patterns.

While younger consumers are clearly driving growth in cold coffee trends (consuming a higher percentage of cold coffee than older consumers), they are also highly likely to be hot coffee consumers as well. They are more likely to consume both hot and cold coffees, and for different occasions and motivations. As coffee consumers continue to skew younger, Millennials and Gen Z are at the forefront of a generational shift from traditional hot brews to the cool and refreshing world of cold coffee. Their evolving preferences and dynamic demands are shaping not only their coffee choices but coffee culture itself, and hot coffee isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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