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SPECIAL REPORTS

Coffee scene experiencing exciting transformation
Tuesday, 02 April, 2024, 16 : 00 PM [IST]
Chaitanya Bhamidipaty
India, the tea-drinking nation, is slowly brewing its trend to a different beverage. While coffee was always drunk in certain parts of India, it has now emerged as a first choice of beverage recently and the country's love affair with this beverage is only growing stronger. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee is now becoming an integral part of India's mornings. From traditional filter coffee in South India to the emergence of specialty cafes in metros, the Indian coffee scene is experiencing an exciting transformation.

The Rise of Coffee
Coffee has been a staple beverage for many years and mornings are incomplete without their favorite cuppa. But recently this trend has gone up and many have been drinking coffee as making coffee an important plantation crop in India. India coffee market was valued at US$478 million in 2022 and is expected to reach US$1,227.47 million by 2032 at a CAGR of 9.87% during the forecast period 2023-2032. There are many reasons like increase in disposable income, global exposure, digital and media penetration, urbanisation, lifestyle changes, health benefits that are responsible for India coffee market growth. These changes have led to what we call coffee culture and are driving the growth of coffee in the market.

Flavoured Coffee and Functional Coffees
There are different types of coffees and one amongst them getting popular is the flavoured coffee. Coffee drinkers are mostly the youth who also prefer flavoured coffee. The growing demand for flavoured coffee among the millennial and the younger generation and Gen Z who are inclined to try new variants of flavoured coffee is the key factor anticipated to drive the coffee market growth. The flavoured coffee market is witnessing a surge, especially among younger demographics. Brands are experimenting with new flavours, including vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut, to cater to evolving preferences and create a more indulgent experience. The premiumisation of flavoured coffee and the strong emphasis laid by manufacturers to produce authentic and unique coffee flavour has significantly supported in drawing attention and boosting the sales of flavoured coffee. A new trend is functional coffees which are taking over the flavoured coffees by storm. Functional coffees have certain ingredients in them which are both good for health and invigorating at the same time. Hence the acceptability from the youth and grown-ups has become very string for functional coffees. If Ayurvedic and Ayush kinds of additions are made, they would be lapped up most willingly.

Single-Origin Coffee and Evolving Consumer Preferences:
Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in the origin and quality of their coffee. This trend has led to the rise of single-origin coffee. This variety accentuates the distinct characteristics of beans cultivated in specific regions. Notably, regions like Chikmagalur, Coorg, and Araku Valley are gaining recognition for producing outstanding single-origin coffees, each with its unique flavour profile. Single-origin coffee takes your taste buds on a captivating journey, showcasing a spectrum of flavours and distinct undertones. With a focus on sustainable sourcing and ethical practices, single-origin coffee appeals to the consumers willing to pay a premium price for quality and responsible sourcing.

While the acceptance of single-origin coffee is still nascent in India compared to established markets like Europe, there's a growing interest in understanding the nuances of different origins. Specialty cafes and online retailers are playing a crucial role in educating consumers and promoting the distinct flavours of single-origin beans. This segment is expected to gain traction as consumers become more aware and adventurous in their coffee exploration.

Future Opportunities
The future for coffee seems to be brewing towards growth as the cafe culture flourishes, especially among the young generation who can cater to diverse consumer segments by offering them unique experiences, ambience, and innovative coffee offerings. Along with that, consumers are increasingly becoming conscious of environmental and social responsibility. They are embracing sustainable sourcing practices to highlight their commitment to ethical coffee production. As disposable incomes rise in rural areas, there's potential for introducing affordable coffee solutions alongside educating consumers about premium varieties.

Over the years, coffee has transcended beyond being just a hot beverage and the Indian coffee market is brimming with potential. The growing preference for coffee flavours in various products is a trend that has been gaining traction in recent times, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Understanding the evolving consumer preferences, embracing new trends will be the key to success in this evolving beverage landscape. As the aroma of freshly brewed coffee continues to waft across the nation, the future of the Indian coffee business promises to be a stimulating blend of tradition and innovation.

Coffee in India is there to stay forever coexisting with tea, the all-time favourite.

(The author is co-founder, Roastea)
 
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