Diaz told FoodManufacture.co.uk the range of coffees available had so far been fairly limited. However, manufacturers were looking at technology that could deliver broader ranges, to include macchiatos and espressos as well as more standard americanos and cappuccinos.
Processors could educate UK shoppers to widen their tastes to include the different kinds of coffee people in other European countries consumed at different times of day, he said.
“People come into coffee shops and say, ‘I’ll have a cappuccino’, because that’s what they have always said,” said Diaz. “I think people want to know more.”
Nestlé had blazed a trail in the instant coffee market with its Nescafé Azzurro product, he said, but there was scope for far more where that came from. “Nestlé has been very clever. It is marketing the product in a tin, so it’s in a ground, continental-style coffee format on first look.
‘Azzurro is the beginning’
“Azzurro is the beginning. I think we will see many of the other leading coffee houses following suit.”
Home coffee machines still held an appeal for shoppers, but “they are a bit of a faff” and relatively few households had bought into them, Diaz said. There was still a gap in the market for companies that could create a similar taste more conveniently and quickly, he added.
However, he cautioned that instant was just part of a broader trend. “Coffee has changed forever; there is a real passion for good coffee with the very thought of instant coffee frowned upon, a trend also growing significantly in the home consumption market.
“People are looking for a much better coffee experience than ever before. Gone are the days where consumers buy jars of instant coffee as they look to replicate the experience they get out-of-home in outlets such as Costa Coffee, Starbucks and Café Nero.”
There was a gradual move in the market towards types of coffee, such as flat white and espresso, as well as bean varieties, he observed.
He said FIS had been working with several coffee clients recently that were working to broaden consumer awareness of the variety of products available. “Looking at your ‘coffee opportunity’ by time of day is critical, creating hero blends and the accompanying sweet and savoury perfect partners is essential.”