How Smucker's Is Adapting Its Coffee Brands To Address Gen Z Concerns

These days when you go to a coffee shop, it's easy to find all kinds of nitro-infused cold brews and specialty coffee drinks. A basic coffee with cream and sugar, on the other hand, is hidden deep within the menu, or unlisted altogether. You might assume that this is simply due to trends changing, but it's actually a result of Generation Z becoming the leading consumers of "gourmet coffee," which refers to any non-instant coffee brewed from premium arabica or arabica-blend beans or grounds. According to research shared by MTPak, Gen Zers, or those born after 1995, drink more gourmet coffee compared to previous generations. Coffee distributors cater to the tastes of its most prevalent consumer group, and currently that's Gen Z.

In addition to consuming more specialty coffee, Gen Z coffee drinkers, Upserve reports, are also more drawn to the experience that comes along with drinking coffee. That translates to coffee that is not only made with clean, high quality ingredients, but is also ethically sourced to yield the best experience all around. Gen Z's influence on the coffee industry has ultimately led J.M. Smucker Co., the company behind leading coffee brands Dunkin', Folgers, and Cafe Bustelo, to adapt a new strategy (via Food Business News).

Smucker's has partnered with Case Western University

The "coffee experience" can mean a lot of different things, but J.M. Smucker Co., also known as Smucker's, is focusing primarily on the way coffee affects the mind and body, Food Business News shares. In doing so, the company has partnered with Case Western University to research the link between coffee and metabolism, as well as coffee, anxiety, and gastrointestinal issues, which are leading concerns for Gen Z coffee drinkers. "Our next generation of consumers are shaping the future of coffee consumption in a big way. These are the consumers that are the most in tune with how coffee makes them feel physiologically as well as mentally," Jenn Sabo, Smucker's director of coffee research and development, explained to Food Business News.

According to Smucker's, this is something that has to be addressed on a scientific level, rather than by just using "better" ingredients. The research is still in the works, but eventually Smucker's hopes to use the findings to develop coffee products that provide a permanent solution to these concerns.