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The 4 Hottest Coffee Trends Sweeping The Beverage Industry

2 2022

The global coffee market is already worth billions, and is expected to reach a staggering $55.64 billion by 2026. 


With experts predicting the industry to register CAGR of 5.1% between 2022 to 2027, it’s clear that this staple drink’s popularity isn’t going anywhere. 

In the U.S. alone, 7 out of 10 consumers drink coffee at least once a week, with 62% reporting they do so on a daily basis. With loyal customers that are regular drinkers, coffee falls squarely into the “staple” category of items that are consumed by billions around the world each day.

Coffee is currently dominating beverage trends, and bottlers would be wise to pay attention. Here’s a breakdown of the 4 hottest coffee trends that are now taking the market by storm.


Beverage Trend 1: Cold Brew

Brewed with cold water, rather than hot, and a long steeping process that can last up to 12 hours, cold brew coffee has a distinct and rich flavor. This drink is one of the leading coffee trends, as it’s the fastest growing coffee drink on the market. Researchers expect cold brew coffee to reach a staggering $944.16 million by 2025. Growing year over year by 4.62% with no signs of slowing down, it would be wise to seriously consider this offering for your brand.

The success of cold brew is due in part to the pandemic. The pandemic led to the shuttering of coffee shops around the globe, which sparked a renewed interest in brew-at-home and take-away, on-the-go beverages. Consumers are looking for options in food and beverages that go beyond the basics. People are hungry for experiences that they can’t replicate themselves at home, and cold brew coffee feels like an indulgent treat and meets that need.


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Beverage Trend 2: Novelty Drinks

With a trend towards more nuanced flavors being felt throughout the market, coffee drinks with unique tastes are well-poised to be a hit with consumers. Notably, coffee is enjoying an artisanal resurgence, with craft flavors exploding in popularity and younger consumers discovering the drink. Fun flavors like chai, salted caramel, s’mores and even fruit are among the hottest coffee trends currently making waves in the market.

People are craving creative twists or variations on the flavors that they know and love. And with the shopping habits of many consumers completely changed over the past few years, many are looking to explore from the comfort of their own homes. An exotic flavored coffee beverage can give consumers that adventurous experience.

To appeal to consumers looking for an upgraded version of their favorite classic beverages, consider adding premium ingredients for a slightly more sophisticated, yet still accessible, flavor. The mix between a comforting, familiar flavor and a feeling of luxury is a great way to elevate your brand without alienating your current customers.

Download The 8 Hottest Beverage Trends for 2022

Beverage Trend 3: Ready-to-Drink (RTD)

Drinks that are ready to be consumed almost instantly once they’re taken off the shelf or out of the refrigerator are among the coffee trends making the biggest impact on the market. “The category currently boasts $10.8 billion in sales across the U.S., which is up 2.1% versus a year ago,” says Sally Lyons Wyatt, executive vice president at consumer and retail analytics firm Information Resources Inc. (IRI). “Price per unit has increased by $0.26 in the last year helping fuel growth.”

One of the reasons for increasing popularity in RTD coffee beverages is the need for consumers to stay energized on the go in their day-to-day lives. Taking an energy boosting favorite beverage flavor like coffee, and having it in so many convenient formats for many target markets is strengthening this market and opening the doors for new innovative beverages.

When RC Cola International launched RC Cola Coffee, they knew they had to launch with a strong ‘All American’ campaign to back it up. The launch of this coffee flavored beverage led to RC Cola Georgia becoming a leading bottler in Georgia with 20% market share.

Another major factor for RTD coffee becoming one of the beverage trends sweeping the market today? Millennials, Gen Z, and younger consumers in general. While over 40 age groups may treat coffee as a morning pick-me-up drink, younger customers are twice as likely to drink coffee at lunch than older consumers.


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Beverage Trend 4: Functional Beverages 

Building off the increased awareness around wellness triggered by the pandemic, functional beverages that provide nutritional advantages, immune system strengthening, and other health boosts remain top of mind. Consumers’ desire for choices that include antioxidants, probiotics, and that promote brain health is stronger than ever.

Coffee itself is a natural antioxidant, so it can be marketed as a beverage that fits into both the immune health and digestive-boosting categories. And for the 29 percent of consumers saying that they need a daily energy boost, coffee is a tried-and-true choice that enjoys enduring appeal across broad markets. It’s no surprise therefore, that energy topped the table with new product launch claims in 2021 according to T. Hasegawa.

“Demands are beginning to shift toward focusing on different parts of health. The idea of health and wellness … is driving market expansion especially in the NoLo (no and low alcohol beverages), but overall fortification has increased across all beverage categories,” says Erin Costello, a communications associate at beverage research company Imbibe. “Energy, immunity and gut health picked up over other functions.”

Coffee drinks are a natural fit for brands wishing to tap into the preference for functional beverages, while also riding the momentum of the coffee flavor trend. Frozen coffee beverages can be seamlessly blended with superfruits like acai and goji berries, providing an added shot of both natural sweetness and health benefits.

It’s clear that consumers are looking for beverages that benefit both brain and body. And the on-the-go nature of many coffee beverages makes these coffee trends especially appealing to people with a busy lifestyle looking for a quick boost. 


Leveraging decades of experience in marketing the latest beverage trends, RC Cola supports our bottlers in researching and developing the newest innovative flavors. For expert guidance in refining your offerings to meet increasing demand for the next generation of coffee beverages, get in touch and become a bottler with us.

Get in touch with the RC Cola Team!