Australian Café Culture Continues to Evolve
Growth of a café culture was unfettered throughout 2015, as consumers became increasingly sophisticated in their preferences, resulting in a positive impact on value sales of hot drinks. Consumers’ appreciation of unique blends and higher-quality coffees intensified, resulting in greater demand for premium-priced products.
Independent cafés have been responding faster to this trend than chained cafés, by offering exclusive blends from single origins, micro-roasters and speciality coffees. Higher demand for these unique blends resulted in the emergence of boutique coffee roasters across the country, with most of them focused on sourcing their beans directly from the country of origin, attempting to skip market intermediaries. Furthermore, higher demand for these specialised blends drove the emergence of boutique coffee roasters across the country, especially in city centres such as Sydney and Melbourne.
The popularity of a café culture is anticipated to continue with consumers seeking unique blends from smaller roasters that target specific niches. As a result, these roasters are able to charge a premium on prices through creating a sense of exclusivity and quality. Additionally, baristas are projected to become more knowledgeable as to the origin and story of the coffees they sell. This in turn will educate consumers that hope to seek out speciality coffees that are not available within mass markets.
As the number of smaller cafés grows, chains such as Starbucks and Gloria Jean’s will have to attempt to entice customers through their doors by either incorporating smaller roast offerings that are distinguishable from mass products, or by developing new product innovations that serve as novelties, such as Christmas-specific products.