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What Were the Top Specialty Coffee Trends for Consumers in 2021?

By: PJ's Coffee

Category:Coffee Industry News and Trends

A basic cup of coffee is far from what consumers want these days.

The National Coffee Association and Specialty Coffee Association have recently teamed up to release a report outlining the specialty coffee trends from last year. According to research, despite being stuck home for the last year, 39% of American specialty coffee drinkers don't enjoy making drinks at home because they don't feel it tastes the same, leading them to head to their favorite coffee shops for their daily fix.

Along with specialty coffee drinks, franchisees can anticipate several consumer demands in the new year, and PJ's Coffee is uniquely suited to meet these demands throughout 2022 and beyond. Here's a look at some of this year's top specialty coffee trends:

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Listening to the needs of consumers and keeping menus fresh and exciting with new items is an essential part of the coffee industry.

Keeping up with the latest trends and meeting the demands of coffee consumers is something we're known for at PJ's Coffee. With the increased desire for specialty drinks, we've developed an LTO menu unique to our brand. More than half of all coffee consumption in the United States includes specialty beverages like espresso, cappuccino, iced/cold coffee and lattes at premium prices. While following the traditional trends and seasons, we put a unique twist on each of our specialty drink offers, ensuring that we're releasing them at the perfect time.

From specialty espresso drinks to seasonal favorites, we've got a drink for everyone. Not to mention, all our specialty drinks and LTOs can be made with non-dairy milk alternatives. With a rise in plant-based foods, our coffee franchise has listened to consumers and now serves almond, oat, soy and coconut milk alternatives. Providing customers with what they're looking for and creating options makes the specialty drinks more desirable and consumer-friendly.

PJ's Coffee Fall LTOs

Increased Demand for Tea Options

While consumers love specialty coffee, the increased demand for tea at favorite local coffee shops has been rising in the last year and is expected to be a significant trend in 2022. Consumer trends have shown that by midday, tea is most frequently ordered. Having a menu that offers coffee and tea products is enticing to consumers since there are more options. At PJ'S Coffee, we offer a few different tea options, including specialty items. The Green Tea Mojito Tea Mixer and Green Tea Velvet Ice are unique to PJ's brand.

Drive-Thru Options

Coffee consumers often seek out the most convenient way to get their daily fix, and it's no secret that American coffee drinkers usually prefer the drive-thru option. During the last year, the value of drive-thrus spiked amongst consumers. The drive-thru became one of the safest options to follow social distancing guidelines and still allowed consumers to grab their favorite drink without ever having to leave their cars.

At PJ's Coffee, we have 55 drive-thru locations, with more on the way. In addition to drive-thru options, online ordering has also increased the convenience of grabbing a coffee from PJ's. Meeting the needs of the "on the go consumer" is important in keeping up with the latest demands of the coffee industry.

Following the latest consumer trends creates gourmet coffee shops that consumers want to continue to return to. Ensuring we offer the best LTOs, specialty coffee drinks and increasing accessible ordering is important to our customers and franchisees alike. By continuing to strive for the latest and greatest, customers will be proud to continue to choose PJ's Coffee for years to come.

Interested in joining a coffee franchise that's ahead of the trends? Learn more about PJ's Coffee franchising opportunities by contacting us today! 

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    A larger scaled PJ's with a full service menu offering located within a strip mall or free-standing building likely featuring a drive-thru.

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