Exploring the Top Trends Shaping 2024’s Beverage Scene

For foodservice operators to thrive in the beverage industry, they must constantly adjust their menu to keep pace with evolving consumer preferences. 

77% of consumers are excited to explore the latest beverage trends of 2024.1 We see this as an invitation for operators to offer distinctive menu offerings that align with shifts in consumer spending and lifestyle changes.

Below are four top trends that our coffee and beverage experts are carefully tracking this year. Whether you are a buyer, barista, or coffee-shop owner, understanding these trends is a key step in adopting them into your menu.

[1] Datassential Trendspotting Vol 19.

1. Embracing Surprise and Delight

During challenging periods, people naturally seek moments that evoke positive feelings. Over half of consumers have expressed their support for businesses that create engaging customer experiences,2 even if they are fleeting or momentary.

So, what does this mean for operators? Think small surprises that will improve brand perception, customer relationships, and leave a memorable impact. 

Consider adding unique touches to traditional beverages, like a drizzle of a decadent sauce, a sprinkle of topping sugar, or rotating novelty drinks on feature. These elements will help to create feel-good moments for your customers.

Operators can benefit from this trend because the more intricate and personalized the drink option is, the higher the perceived value. Providing add-ons and customization choices for customers to include in their standard coffee orders can enhance the overall experience.

Trend essentials: Canterbury’s RecipesStasero Topping SugarTorani Sauces.

[2] Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey.

2. Supporting Sustainability 

In the past year, more than six in ten consumers have attempted to have a positive impact on the environment.3  While individual efforts make a difference, consumers are increasingly supporting brands that offer sustainable choices.

Operators can contribute by providing beverage options that are produced in an environmentally conscious way. 

Canterbury proudly works with certifying bodies like Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, and Organic Canada to ensure their coffee and tea lineup sets a standard for quality, environmental responsibility, and social considerations.

Additionally, Canterbury is committed to supporting farmers on both local and global scales by forming partnerships with organizations like RGC Coffee.

Having sustained a relationship for more than three decades, these companies recently joined forces on the Todos al Agua project in Amazonas, Peru. In this collaborative effort, they combined their expertise and advanced technology to implement regenerative soil practices in the region. The primary goal was to generate positive environmental impacts, elevate the quality of coffee products, and directly improve the livelihoods of the participating farms.

Operators should promote the sustainable choices they provide in their cafes not only because it aligns with consumer values, but it also directly impacts their bottom line. In fact, a notable 47% of consumers claim they are willing to pay more for sustainable options.4

Trend essentials: Canterbury Coffee CatalogueFour O’Clock TeaNumi Tea

[3] Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey.
[4] Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey.

3. Consumers Continue to Spend on Specialty Drinks and Unique Beverage Experiences

Although inflation might reduce spending in certain categories, many individuals, especially younger generations like Gen Z and Millennials, are still showing a strong desire to treat themselves to premium beverage experiences. They are continuing to prioritize spending on everyday luxuries and frequently indulge in specialty items from their favourite cafes.5

Introducing innovative beverages to capture this audience’s attention doesn’t necessarily have to inflate an operator’s expenses. By simply incorporating a new product into your business’s behind-the-bar lineup, baristas can effortlessly craft a diverse range of drinks, enriching your menu offerings and catering to the preferences of those seeking unique and indulgent experiences.

Trend essentials: Canterbury’s RecipesTorani Syrups.

[5] Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey.

4. Healthy Lifestyles

Consumers are increasingly interested in improving their well-being, actively searching for options that are not only low in calories, and sugar, but also contribute to their overall health.

In response to these changing consumer preferences, brands like Dr. Smoothie are meeting the demand for health-conscious choices by providing shelf-stable smoothies. 

These smoothies are made with real fruit and vegetables. They contain no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, and sweeteners. To further enhance the health benefits of their products, Dr. Smoothie offers add-ins such as their Leafy Greens powder, allowing customers to boost their drinks with additional nutrition.

Trend essentials: Dr. Smoothie’s 100% CrushedDr. Smoothie’s Leafy Greens