Navigating the Latest in Coffee at the CAC’s Conference

On November 9, 2023, the Coffee Association of Canada (CAC) hosted its annual conference in Toronto. 

Lisa Richardson EVP and COO, and Joshua Linde General Manager, Oakville at Canterbury.

Industry representatives, including large corporations, small businesses, and coffee enthusiasts from across the country, gathered to discuss the current state of the coffee industry. 

CAC members are leaders in various aspects of the coffee industry such as importing, processing, distribution, and foodservice hospitality, including Canterbury Coffee.

Research and Data Highlights 

In collaboration with Dig Insights, and Circana, the CAC showcased several dynamic trends shaping the coffee industry, delving into topics like out-of-home consumption, quality standards, and generational preferences.

Out of Home Consumption

The conference emphasized a significant uptick in the sales of hot brewed coffee servings, registering a 5% increase over the past year, reaching a total of 17.9 billion servings. Projections indicate a further 4% rise by 2030.1

Notably, over half of café customers are choosing specialty beverages, including espresso-based drinks, frozen concoctions, cold brews, and nitro coffee.

In navigating these trends, Canterbury’s team of beverage experts are here to assist your café in optimizing its offerings and staying aligned with evolving consumer preferences. With offerings ranging from online training courses to personalized menu development, Canterbury stands out as your ultimate beverage solution provider.

Trend essentials: Canterbury’s Coffee CatalogueCanterbury’s Coffee Certifications, Online TrainingMenu Planning.

[1] Ipsos FIVE R12ME August 2023 – % Hot Brewed Coffee Servings

Quality Matters

The CAC encouraged operators to highlight their sustainable choices, not only because it resonates with consumer values but also because it positively impacts their profits. In fact, it was noted that most coffee drinkers are willing to spend extra on high-quality and environmentally friendly coffee.2

Canterbury serves high quality, 100% Arabia beans, and partners with Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, and Organic Canada to ensure your café sets the standard for sustainable options.

Trend essentials: Canterbury’s Coffee Catalogue, Canterbury’s Coffee Certifications.

[2] Restaurants Canada and Statistics Canada – Foodservice Facts 2023 Dig Insights – June 2023.

Generational Preferences

The CAC found that younger generations, including Gen Z and Millennials, tend to prioritize spending on experiences and affordable everyday luxuries. This often involves indulging in items from their favourite cafes.3

In response to this consumer shift, operators are challenged to entice customers out of their homes by offering enhanced experiences. A highly effective strategy for operators is to elevate their coffee programs.

Canterbury addresses this by providing a diverse range of shelf-stable syrups that are both unique and trendy, appealing to customers seeking specialty beverages. Adding one of these new products to the bar lineup allows baristas to create a variety of drinks, broadening the menu and attracting a wider customer base.

Trend essentials: Torani Syrups, Drink Recipes.

[3] Restaurants Canada and Statistics Canada – Foodservice Facts 2023.

Key Takeaways from the CEO Panel  

The conference featured a CEO Panel which included Canterbury’s EVP and COO, Lisa Richardson alongside peers Matt Johnston, the founder of Collective Arts Brewing, and Thomas Wong, Co-founder and President of Kevito Group. The panel focused on foodservice trends and technology within the beverage industry.


With a focus on innovation in the coffee industry, Lisa highlighted that one of the “the biggest revolutions are in single serve. It’s changed with Keurig and Nespresso, not only with traditional but also compostable pods.”

Drawing on Canterbury’s extensive 42-year history in the coffee industry, Lisa nostalgically traced the journey from the days of glass pots and thermoses to the contemporary era of single serve cups and the revolutionary bean-to-cup experience during the pandemic. Her insights underscored not only the industry’s adaptability but also the crucial role technology plays in shaping the coffee experience for consumers.

Trend essentials: OneCoffee PodsCoffee Equipment Services.

Foodservice Trends

Canterbury, a dedicated solution provider to the food service sector, has consistently demonstrated its commitment to innovation and adaptability. 

Always on the lookout for opportunities to expand its offerings beyond coffee, Canterbury actively explores additional products suitable for away-from-home channels such as smoothies. They add new products by staying informed about the latest trends and adapting to emerging market developments. 

Addressing the dynamic beverage landscape, Lisa expressed, “Canterbury is not just a coffee supplier; we aspire to be consultants to our clients. We explore avenues to bring diverse products like bubble tea or smoothies into their repertoire.”

Recognizing the experimental nature of Gen-Z and Millennials, she highlighted the importance of unique experiences, stating, “It’s challenging for millennials and Gen-Z to afford anything today. They’re more willing to pay $10 on an experience or affordably luxurious items.” 

Canterbury, therefore, positions itself not merely as a supplier but as a strategic consultant, offering recipe ideation for both coffee and non-coffee products, ensuring that customers can seamlessly integrate trending items into their offerings and cater to the evolving preferences of the consumer.

Trend essentials: Canterbury’s Coffee CatalogueCanterbury’s More Than Coffee CatalogueDrink recipes.

Lisa was also featured on The Food Processor’s podcast, Restaurant Reconning & Renaissance. Filmed at the CAC conference, the podcast covers her experience in the industry, economic challenges, the Canadian market, and more about Canterbury. 

You can find out more about the Coffee Association of Canada on their website at