Coffee Trends

Wondering how to make even better coffee this year, here are just some of the coffee industry trends we are seeing on our travels...

Superior quality third wave coffee

How to make coffee at home, iced coffee, how to make keto coffee and how to make whipped coffee are well documented, but have you discovered specialty coffee, sometimes referred to as third wave coffee?

In years gone by, consumers would typically rely on coffee outlets and roasters to expand their knowledge of coffee origins, taste characteristics and preparation, but today’s discerning coffee drinkers are researching and considering innovative brewing methods, sustainability, speciality beans, and even packaging to achieve a high-quality coffee. Speciality coffee places the emphasis on the treatment of the coffee from grower to consumer to ensure the highest possible coffee production standards at every stage.

Chosen based on seasonality and taste, the Lincoln & York coffee team sources specialty coffee on a monthly basis, to provide something a bit more premium. These coffees are bought from signature, regional or microlot cooperatives, meaning that the coffee can be traced back to the farm where it was grown.

Coffee subscriptions

Recent data from Kantar tells us that out of home has grown significantly over the past year. Delivery occasions, including food from the likes of Just Eat and Deliveroo, are now worth £1,8bn. Over the past three months alone, 19m shoppers have bought into the delivery channel, which is a colossal 9.5m more than this time last year! Within this, the coffee industry has identified an urgent opportunity to adapt, so it can still provide a cup of pick-me-up to those at home during the pandemic.

If you are busy working from home, then a coffee subscription is the perfect way to ensure you never run out at a pivotal moment. Delivered at varying frequency, you might choose to order your favourite on repeat, or - if you are feeling adventurous - you could let the roasters decide.

Lincoln and York are able to support any number of subscription solutions. If you are a trade customer you can choose home delivery from our range of coffee bags, whole beans, and filter coffee via our online portal. The Lincoln & York coffee range is also available to buy on Amazon UK.


Consumers are aware and educated and brands can no longer simply tick the sustainability box: we must live, breathe and practise what we preach.

At Lincoln & York we are proud to be one of the UK’s largest suppliers of certified coffee, working to high ethical and responsible trading standards. Our new, recyclable, low density polyethylene, gas-flushed machine-made bags are available from 60g – 1kg. Choose from matt black, matt white or kraft films, with either a one-colour print or recyclable label for a fully sustainable product.

Recyclable Packaging

Cans and bottles

Chilled, grab-and-go coffee is a continuously growing trend amongst younger coffee consumers and takes up very little space for retailers. As seen with craft beer, producers are experimenting with weird and wonderful fruit and coffee combinations that will take your taste buds into uncharted territory. Not sure if you will like it? Well, there is only one way to find out.

Healthy coffee

Healthy coffee blends have been steadily emerging through 2020, with brews including those designed to boost your mood, immunity, and metabolism. With descriptors including tasty and natural you might brave a mushroom brew, switch to an organic, pesticide-free bean, or go for a golden latte containing turmeric. You might simply decide to reduce the amount of sugar in your morning coffee, or experiment with plant-based milk alternatives.

Coffee tours

Experiential holidays are likely to be a huge growth sector once lockdown restrictions are eased sufficiently, with many desperate for freedom and new experiences. With traceability, sustainability and human rights a growing consumer priority, this is an opportunity for food producers to open their doors, including coffee plantations, roasters and retailers. Grab a copy of the Lonely Planet’s Global Coffee Tour and start planning your trip.

As an international private label producer, Lincoln & York is one of the leading distributors of coffee from the UK to markets across the globe and, like you, we are ready to get out and experience the World anew.

Automation or drive-through coffee

A legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic across many sectors is the emergence of a minimal contact sale. The coffee retail sector has seen an explosion of drive-through coffee outlets in the UK and it is likely that this trend will continue for obvious reasons.

Back on the high street, data has shown that the coffee shop segment recovered 61% of its value* when the first lockdown ended. We are confident that consumers will return to their favourite coffee shop once again, to savour that barista taste in familiar, friendly surroundings, and at Lincoln & York we could not agree more!

Sources of Data

*Source: Kantar Worldpanel OOH data