Coffee industry insights beyond the big brands: where innovation is born

More than 2,300 coffee and cafe brands surveyed.

The coffee industry is huge, but it is built on an experience that is small and personal.It’s built on experience that finds its way into the world one cup, one cafe, one new brand at a time. As a culinary form, coffee gains its creative direction from these new brands, born in the space just outside the growing mass of consolidation. This space is the rich breeding ground for the passionate exploration of coffee, centered on the conversations among roasters, baristas, and coffee lovers. This is the space where presence (or scale) is small, but invention thrives. And this is where the growing interests of younger consumers are revealed.

We study these small and influential brands.

Like zoologists, we count and catalog each new coffee brand like a species. Our database is a substantial population of brands that collectively marks the changes in the industry: the arrival of new brands and ideas to the market; the kinetic energy that builds as more and more brands exhibit like characteristics; the resistance to and even rejection of old practices and ideas. With our data, we map the development and geography of the coffee industry, looking for patterns that can inform and contextualize the strategies of companies, regardless of size.

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