Last weekend was London Coffee Festival at the Old Truman Brewery.
The festival has become a must-see annual event that showcases the most exciting innovations in the UK’s booming coffee market. And you don’t have to be a coffee connoisseur to attend the event – anybody who takes an interest in coffee will find the festival interesting.
Also, The London Coffee Festival has grown to showcase more than just coffee – it now features innovation in tea, milk (and milk alternatives), NOLO (no and low) drinks, and more.
The festival epitomises everything that’s happening in the London coffee scene (often referred to by industry specialists as the ‘Third Wave of the UK Coffee Movement’) – and makes clear that coffee is now perceived as something which involves as much craftsmanship as wine, and is also expected to fuel consumers’ desire for experiences with stories of provenance, innovation and artisanship. This is reflected in the fact that instant coffee and PODs are occupying less and less space at the event.
Visitors were given the opportunity to experience the science involved in making coffee, as well as the many processes to brew the perfect cup of the drink – this even included a series of educational experiences from the London School of Coffee.
Missouri has visited the festival to check out all the exciting innovations in the coffee scene, and is listing below the most prominent trends from this year’s event:
- Eco-Cups – strong aversion to plastic is making brands take a more responsible and sustainable approach to packaging.
- NOLO drinks (Dash Water, Karma Kola etc.) – interest in health and wellbeing has spurred the launch of numerous brands of premium no and low alcoholic drinks. (For more on this see our NOLO Insights piece here)
- Plant-based lifestyle (snacks and cow-milk alternatives) – this is another consequence of the Wellness trend that’s dominating the food and drinks sectors.
- Coffee Meets Art – to stand out in an increasingly saturated marketplace and reach consumers, brands are seeking to collaborate with artists to create more distinct identities.
The festival featured enough innovation to keep us entertained all day, and we surely tasted coffee from some very exotic places, made using some of the most innovative methods in the world.
The whole atmosphere was buzzing – which is very reflective of the current coffee scene in the UK. And we’ve left the event with insights into what’s driving consumer interest in the drink, as well as what it takes to brew a perfect cup of coffee – a newly acquired skills that will prove to be very handy in our studio.