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Café Culture

Winter is the perfect time to experiment with warm, comforting drinks. From Oranka's Winter Fruit Punch to Brodies Chai Massala, there are endless possibilities for tasty winter beverages that will turn the heat up on your drink menu. Winter fruit punch is a great way to add a bit of sweetness to your menu, and Brodies Chai Massala is the perfect blend of black tea and spices.

 

Whatever your preference, there is sure to be a winter drink that will warm your customers up and leave them feeling cosy and comforted. So, check out this month's coffee shop trends feature and let us introduce you to a small selection of our fantastic supply partners that can help you attract customers in from the cold.

Coffee shop trends that won't leave you cold

As the weather gets colder, customers start to look for beverages that will provide a comfortable respite against the winter chill. This month's feature, written using insights from Creed Foodservices' Café 72 brand, looks at some of the current coffee shop trends and introduces you to a selection of our suppliers who can support you in driving sales in the hot beverage category. From spices and syrups to tea and coffee beans, we've got a portfolio of suppliers with everything you need to make your winter drinks menu a hit. So, read on and see how you can turn the heat up on your beverage sales.

 

Premiumisation

The UK market for hot beverages continues to benefit from the consumer trend towards premiumisation and demand for variety. Although the cost-of-living crisis is beginning to bite, the lipstick effect - the phenomenon where consumers treat themselves to small indulgencies during economic downturns - means that coffee could be a way of capitalising on your customers' desire for small luxuries. Particularly as 80% of coffee drinkers in the UK visit coffee shops once per week

 

As with most premiumisation techniques, presentation is paramount. Think about dessert-style glassware, decadent toppings and luxury layering. Alternatively, delight a younger demographic with perfectly whipped cold foam-topped cold brews, which were a big hit on the high street earlier with millennials this year.

 

Flourishing florals

The floral trend is blooming, driven by growing consumer interest and belief in the power of natural extracts. Floral flavours also add a premium and refined element to menus and deliver an exciting spectrum of flavours for consumers looking for something new.

 

One flower that packs a punch when it comes to flavouring is hibiscus, offering a distinctive, tangy flavour profile with a bright, vibrant colour. Lavender and violet are also popular choices, with lavender lattes challenging turmeric as the hip ingredient of choice and violet syrups enhancing iced teas, lemonade and mocktails to add a distinct candied floral twist.

 

Plant-based power

It's no secret that plant-based eating is on the rise. More and more people are swapping out meat and dairy for vegan alternatives, motivated by concerns for their health and the environment. And this trend is only accelerating, with the global market for alternative milk expected to grow by 30% between 2019 and 2025.

 

One of the most popular vegan milk alternatives is oat milk. Its creamy texture and neutral taste make it a popular choice for coffee and other hot beverages. However, we're also seeing a rise in other grain and "like" milks, such as rice, hemp, and almond milk. These options offer a variety of flavours and textures you can tailor to individual preferences.

 

So, whether your customers are vegan, lactose-intolerant, or simply looking to cut down on their dairy consumption, your hot beverage menu should cater for them.

 

Bright & bold

It's no secret that social media plays a significant role in our lives these days. And when it comes to the food and drink we consume, it's no different. As a result, we're increasingly looking for things that are Insta-worthy, including the drinks we order when we're out and about.

 

Gone are the days when creative latte art would ensure viral success - now, consumers want colourful, vibrant drinks that will stand out on their feeds. But it's not all about getting social media cred; these colourful concoctions can inspire positivity and stimulate our appetite. From Very Peri mocktails, inspired by Pantone's Colour of the Year, to rainbow matcha lattes, colour creativity is reaching new heights in the beverage sector and shows little signs of slowing.

 

Seasonal specials

For all the new trends innovating the drinks sector, there are some seasonal favourites that consumers clamour for year after year. Pumpkin spice is one of those classic flavours that always comes back into style, and for a good reason - it's the perfect combination of warming spices, sweetness, and cosy feelings.

 

Other flavours like maple, honeycomb, brown sugar and caramel are also coming back as foodservice operators look for ways to keep drinks nostalgic and Autumnal. And, of course, we can't forget those classic holiday flavours like gingerbread, eggnog, and Irish cream. These are perfect for lattes, hot chocolates and frappés as we get closer to Christmas and seek a little luxury.

 

And to top it off!

What's the secret to the perfect hot chocolate? Is it the quality of the cocoa powder? The milk-to-water ratio? The addition of a touch of cinnamon? Or is it something as simple as a large dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of mini marshmallows?

 

This year, we see a trend for perfectly dressed hot drinks, with baristas getting creative with their toppings. From hot fudge sauce and chocolate mousse to poppin' candy and nut brittle, there are endless ways to dress up your hot beverages. So why not experiment and see what combination your customers like best? After all, there's no such thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to hot chocolate!

 

Sweet treats and savoury pastries

As the weather cools down, our thoughts turn to cosy comfort food. And what could be more comforting than a freshly baked cake or pastry? Bakery items are perfect for impulse purchases from beverage buyers. And with a few simple tweaks, you can create some real show-stoppers that will tempt your customers and add a little extra to your margins.

 

So, what are the leading trends for baked goods this Autumn? Everyday favourites are being given a premium makeover, with rich ingredients and tantalising descriptions turning simple cakes into gourmet treats. Toppings, layering and 'theatre' are also important, giving customers a real sense of value for money. Nostalgia is still big on menus, with classic flavour profiles making a return and mash-ups and twists that elevate menu standards with new relevance. And, of course, dietary requirements are essential to cater for these days, with plant-based, vegan and gluten-free items now a given for customers who follow these diets.

A small selection of our suppliers who can help!

Hopefully, the trends we've covered in this feature will give you some ideas on how to warm up your winter cafe menus, but if you need any additional advice, Beacon has a whole host of expert suppliers who can help. Take a look at a small selection of them below, or contact us via Live Chat for a quick conversation. We'll ensure we put you in touch with the perfect partner for your query.

1) Brodies in a nutshell (or coffee bean)

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For 150 years, the name Brodies has been synonymous with the finest tea and coffee blends worldwide. Founded in Edinburgh in 1867, the company continues to this day on the quest for the very best, from plantations and tea gardens across the globe.

Once their tea leaves and coffee beans are selected, their master blenders and roasters set to work: using a mix of experience, expertise, and a dash of magic to create the subtle flavours and rich depths that characterise the ultimate Brodies brew. Their teas and coffees are chosen by connoisseurs – from the tea perfectionist who appreciates the joy of an elegant whole-leaf tea served in porcelain to the coffee aficionado wanting full-bodied bliss in an espresso cup. From humble beginnings in a single Edinburgh shop, Brodies have now become a much-loved global brand, thanks to its commitment to quality and its passion for capturing and discovering new flavours and blends.

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