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The international coffee market continues to be one of the more lucrative performers in food and drink. Coffee pods sales are particularly dominant in North America and Europe, but the format is increasingly finding consumer appeal further afield with growth in countries such as Brazil, Mexico, South Korea and Taiwan.

In emerging markets, soluble coffee remains dominant and coffee mixes have replaced granular coffee as the preferred format. This often takes the form of 3-in-1s, and influenced by Starbucks, brands in Asia are increasingly venturing into more indulgent and also more regional flavours.

In more developed retail coffee markets, such as the UK and South Africa, the coffee mix has seen a revival by focusing on specialty coffees such as cappuccino and latte. This is part of a wider trend towards more premium soluble coffee in more developed markets, many of which have also seen instant granular coffee brands trade up to micro-ground coffee, a hybrid of actual ground coffee and freeze-dried beans.

Flavour continues to be a strong theme in coffee innovation – accounting for one in seven new coffee releases in global retail. Flavour innovation is especially strong in North America and Africa and the Middle-East. Indulgent flavoured coffee appeals to the younger “sweet tooth” generation bought up on Starbucks-style coffee shop culture and is also helping to make coffee palatable to Asians bought up with green tea as their dominant beverage.

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