Please Leave Room for Cream(er) – A Look at where Coffee Creamers Stand, and Where are They Going?

Every single day, an average of 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide.

A recent survey in the US found that around 73% of Americans have at least one cup of coffee daily.

In fact, 35% admit to drinking 3-5 cups of coffee per day.

Even as impressive as that is, the US doesn’t even rank in the top ten countries for coffee consumption per capita globally.

Each of the Nordic countries makes it into the top six (with the Netherlands slotting in at #5). The top nine countries on the list are European, with only Canada (#10) making it into the top ten and only four non-European nations total ranking in the top 25!

This could be why Europe accounts for 31% of the global coffee market, making it the largest market for coffee consumption in the world.

Still, the US is the largest single nation in terms of “total consumption,” but it’s interesting to note that only 1 in 5 Americans actually drink their coffee black.

While that number might be higher in Europe, a love for espresso-based beverages and the increased popularity of specific trends mean more innovative options must be on the menu or in the fridge.

creamer-1

Cream vs Creamer

Although not exclusive to use in coffee, a look at the global category of (dairy and non-dairy) Cream, Creamers, and Evaporated milk shows that cream held a 62% market share (April 2023-September 2023)[1].

Creamer came in a distant second with 20.6% market share.

Yet, if we look deeper into the data, we see these numbers are highly skewed by regional markets.

For example, 82% of European launches were from the cream subcategory, compared to only 8% for creamer.

coffee_creams_creamer

North America is another story entirely. Though cream launches come in at a respectable 39%, that is the lowest of any region. Creamers, however, account for 49% of all launches in North America, the second highest region being Asia Pacific at 32%.

Why does this matter?

Well, as we’ve seen with the rise of RTD (ready-to-drink) coffee beverages, speciality coffee, and technological home brewing innovations, the coffee market looks to be providing our global caffeine fix for years to come.

That makes it even more crucial to take advantage of the opportunities for innovation around the flavour experience of everyone’s favourite morning (and maybe afternoon) ritual.

Opportunities for Innovation

Flavor

When it comes to dairy, North American consumers love their sweet taste profiles.

Creamers aren’t any different.

Classics continue to dominate the space, with Vanilla, Milk Chocolate, French Vanilla, and Caramel taking the top four spots for creamer launches.

Still, growing consumer desire for novel and exciting flavour experiences is driving innovation.

Equally, if not more, indulgent pastry and dessert profiles, such as cinnamon roll, doughnut, churro, carrot cake, s’more, and maple, to name a few, are working to satisfy that sweet tooth and provide a morning pick-me-up at the same time.

Seasonal and trending limited-time offers (LTOs) are thriving and continuing to be necessary in an age of social media.

coffee_and_cream

Plant-Based

Though alternative milks dominate the plant-based markets 38% in Europe and 35% in the US, respectively, plant-based creamers also accounted for an 8% market share in the US in 2022.

In Europe, conversely, they don’t even register at 1%.

Yes, companies in that space and region should prioritize the development of plant-based creamers (flavoured and unflavoured).

However, this doesn’t mean that plant-based products don’t have a role to play in European coffee culture. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

As plant-based milk alternatives (oat, almond, coconut, etc.) continue to grow in popularity, developers are developing innovative “barista milks” that not only taste great but can perform 1:1 with dairy.

These products need to be able to hold up to the heat of a steam wand or a freshly pulled shot while balancing the acidity of the brew, both in the coffee shop and one’s kitchen.

Functional

Although better-for-you remains an area for innovative and indulgent low-fat or low-sugar options, consumers are asking for more.

Increasingly, across the industry, functional ingredients are offering just that.

Collagen, great for skin and joint health, has already become a popular “creamer” for some shoppers in the form of collagen peptides.

Additions to one’s coffee that can offer benefits like higher protein, added vitamins, gut health (fibre, probiotics), or balancing energy without the jitters could really make it the best part of waking up.

cold_brew

Stirring it all together

As many people around the world enjoy coffee for the energy it gives them to get through the day, most drink it because they love the taste.

Whether you are looking to give them decadent new flavour profiles, indulgent and authentic plant-based lattes, or health benefits that make them want a second cup, incredible taste and texture are key to success.

Click here to learn more about how Edlong can help you with your next innovation.

Looking to add new and indulgent profiles to your next project? Make sure to ask about our new line of Sweet Success flavours, today!

About the Author: Anne Marie Butler, Global Director of Strategy and Innovation

I help food stakeholders from startups to CPGs solve complex flavor problems and accelerate innovation within the food space. Through my 15+ years of experience, I’ve gained skills as a food technologist, thought partner, and leader. My clients and team appreciate my collaborative, humanistic approach to problem solving. In an increasingly tech-centric world, I think that human connection is the source of innovation. Through my work, I’ve realized how important it is to be more proactive about inviting stakeholders into conversations around flavor innovation. I’m not working alone, and I don’t want to be thinking alone either.


[1] Innova Category Review: What’s Trending in Cream, Creamers & Evaporated Milk


Topics: Better For YouBeveragesDairy flavorsPlant-BasedSweet Spot
Resource Type: Article
Resource Region: EUUS

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