Coffee industry insight beyond the big brands

More than 2,300 coffee and cafe brands surveyed.

The industry tends to focus on the same big companies, those giant brands that make all the headlines. The ones with thousands of cafes, lit with firework-acquisitions and mega-mergers. And, sure, we’ve got that data and we have interesting insight into those huge players: It’s important to understand how the scale of the big players influences the market.

But the coffee industry isn’t just big. It’s not just a commodity. Coffee is an artisanal enterprise that finds its way one cup, one cafe, and one new brand at a time. It’s an art form that finds creative new directions from the leadership of smaller, immerging brands. If you look only at the big players, you may see 90% of the volume in the market, but you will miss where the business is going. Scale creates presence but not necessarily innovation.

Our specialty is the study of the creative cutting edge, the smaller brands that make up the difference, that left-over 10% that you won’t see in the headlines. We count individual coffee brands, one at a time, like zoologists pursuing new coffee species. Brands with less than 20 locations. Unique brands driven by passion and precision, considered before the dream of a billion-dollar valuation. We’ve cataloged thousands, and we are continuing our search.

Our database of coffee brands is a living thing, changing with the industry. We search for new brands entering the market and mark the passing of brands that disappear. We look for trends and patterns. We time the development and map the geography of the coffee industry. What do you want to look for?