Did you know that Canadians drink 2.1 billion servings of coffee a year, putting them second only to the Italians?
Perhaps it’s the cold winters, the social summers or that we Canadians just love a good ol’ cup o’ joe. What is changing however is that the average Canadian is shifting their tastes away from traditional drip coffee, and increasingly towards espresso.
Over the last four years, hot brewed coffee servings have declined at a rate of two per cent whereas hot specialty coffee servings have grown by four per cent. Canadians are consuming more than ever and are focused on quality while we do it.
And how about that chain from Seattle, the one with the green logo and a frivolous looking mermaid? Say what you will about their coffee, but Starbucks have inspired a successful movement into specialty drinks, including that of iced coffee. In fact, according to NPD research this category of specialty drinks has surged by eight per cent. Back on home soil, Tim Hortons has recently toyed with innovating its drinks line by considering coffee flavoured beer. Say what now? That’s taking the word specialty to a new level.
It’s good news for cafe owners. Specialty drinks can yield a high profit for a store, as customers are willing to pay premium pricing for drinks blended, crushed or topped with bells and whistles that resemble a birthday cake.
But how about that humble espresso? Neither crushed nor blended, the espresso is seeing significant growth in the Canadian restaurant scene and we don’t see any signs of slowing. No cream here, steamed milk, soy or almond are the new Canadian appetite and the barista is only too happy to please. The macchiato is nothing new, especially to the coffee connoisseur, but rather the penetration of specialty coffee which is on the rise.
We’ve spoken to many existing coffee shops and cafes who are now looking at adding an espresso machine to compliment filter and brew, and why not, for just a few dollars a day you only need to sell five coffees to afford one. The other 25 coffees you sell that day? Your profit.
And to those wishing to start a café or restaurant, you should consider the espresso machine a key asset! Canada is fast becoming an espresso nation, so jump on board and make your business a part of it.
Side note: We’re heading to SCAA in Atlanta this week, and will be reporting back the latest on the specialty coffee industry. Stay posted!