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Gen Z are giving coffee culture a complete make-over

Gen Z are giving coffee culture a complete make-over

The coffee scene is going through a major transformation.

The coffee scene is going through a major transformation. It’s not just about fancy latte art or a new roast of beans. With a characteristically unconventional approach, Gen Z is shaking up how we get our daily dose of caffeine.

Remember when coffee was just a bitter liquid you chugged to survive the 9-to-5? Well, Gen Z has thrown that rulebook out the window. A recent LADnation survey revealed a distinct shift in coffee consumption, particularly in the younger generation.

Man drinking Costa coffee
Man drinking Costa coffee

Gen Z is easing their way into coffee drinking a little earlier than previous generations. Half of 18-24 year olds today had started drinking coffee by age 16, (compared to an average of 18 among all voters) with 60% of them starting with their parents.

And, their tastes are far from traditional, Gen Z is doing coffee their own way. Black coffee is out, variety is in. Iced, frozen, or canned Costa coffee straight from the fridge, you name it – 80% of Gen Z coffee drinkers are excited by new flavours and formats. While hot coffee still dominates the morning routine (75% choose it before 9am), iced, blended and ready-to-drink options reign supreme as the go-to afternoon pick-me-up.

Fresh takes at Costa include their Bubble Frappés (blending your classic iced frappé with bubble tea pearls in a range of flavours) and their triple-layered Iced Whipped Lattes, as well as a wider range of Fruit Coolers, Refreshers, and Iced Teas. It’s a far cry from your regular Americano, but the survey found that these cold options tend to be enjoyed more as a reward or for the taste, rather than a ‘start your day’ energy boost.

Couple drinking Costa coffee
Couple drinking Costa coffee

While Gen Z seems to be leading the charge, they’re not the only ones interested in trying something new when it comes to coffee with 73% of us open to new things when it comes to coffee. And it's not just about the drink itself; it's about the entire experience.

Aesthetics matter to Gen Z, with 43% more likely to buy a coffee if the cup is visually appealing (compared to a third on average), and 26% influenced by social media trends (vs an average 13%). For some, a perfectly Instagrammable coffee (we’re looking at you, Blueberry Bubble Frappé at Costa) is as important as the caffeine kick. They're less concerned with coffee snobbery and more focused on convenience, novelty, and social sharing.

So, what does this mean for the future of coffee? Gen Z isn't just changing how we drink coffee, they're transforming the entire coffee culture. We can expect to see bolder flavours, eye-catching packaging, and more innovative trends.

At Costa, they’re constantly releasing innovative twists on new drinks and seasonal flavours, so we’re excited to see what’s next. Whether you’re all about trying something new, or you’d prefer to stick to your classic Costa Latte. One thing's for sure: the future of coffee is anything but boring.

Featured Image Credit: Costa

Topics: Food And Drink