NCA 2018 Convention looks at traditions and visions

With change constantly brewing in the coffee industry, the National Coffee Association is looking to the future in the context of the past. Traditions & Visions, the theme of the NCA 2018 Convention, takes place 15-17 March at the Sheraton New Orleans in the famed Canal Street of the historic US city. Organisers said a fascinating thing about working in coffee is how the beverage is both a cultural tradition, and in a state of constant flux. Consumers are changing, with a new generation of coffee drinkers trying new beverages, refocusing their priorities, and raising their expectations. Coffee companies are changing, as they embrace technology and redefine their values to connect with consumers. Unconventional business models, such as subscription services and startups, give unprecedented options to coffee drinkers. Even coffee as a beverage is changing, with more than half (59 per cent) of cups of coffee consumed in the United States now classified as gourmet, for the first time in the history of the NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends report. From nitro cold brew to turmeric oat milk lattes, consumers are exploring new preparations and functional ingredients. The rapid rise of ready-to-drink introduced Third Wave culture to mainstream markets, exposing consumers to previously unimagined options. New formats also make it easy to drink coffee throughout the day. These changes are opening the door to new innovations – and new challenges. From regulatory risks to logistics, we need to be able to respond and adapt. The NCA is also changing. Over the past year, it has focused on evolving to provide the resources, information, and networking opportunities the industry needs. At the NCA 2018 Convention, industry members can network with decision makers, learn more about the issues facing the industry, and find their place in the coffee community. Visitor are expected to leave the event with fresh perspectives and strategic insights for the year ahead.
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