By Stephen Morrissey, SCAA
The world is changing rapidly around us. Coffee is being consumed, prepared, and sold very differently today, even compared with just a few years ago. Our annual Expo has always been one of the best places to see these emerging trends up-close, with many companies choosing the event to unveil new technologies or big announcements. Our members love new ideas, and are looking to SCAA to showcase innovation in all its forms. We’ve been listening and are delighted to announce the introduction of three new elements that do just that.
Coffee & Beer
The first element is called Uppers & Downers, a special event celebrating the shared parallels between craft coffee and craft beer, by exploring the emerging world of Uppers and Downers, beautiful beers made with beautiful coffee. We’ve partnered with Michael Kiser of Good Beer Hunting to bring some of the best breweries from around the U.S. to our show, providing attendees with a chance to sample incredible coffee beers and learn about the unique storytelling that helps distinguishes each of these craft brands and their coffee partnerships.
Coffee & Tech
Our second new event showcases the array of new tech solutions that exist for our industry, especially our retailers. Where once the only tech investment required of a café was a cash register and a desktop computer, today’s contemporary coffee bar utilizes a variety of hardware and software vendors to help run their businesses. Tasks like payroll, accounting, e-commerce, mobile solutions, loyalty programs, scheduling, WI-FI, and sound engineering can now all be made easier using cutting edge technology. We’re really excited by these solutions, and recognize our members desire to know more. Launching at our Expo in Atlanta, the SCAA Tech Pavilion will give attendees a unique chance to see all the options, ask all the questions and find out exactly what tech is available to help their business succeed.
Coffee & Design
Perhaps more than ever, coffee shops are putting massive focus on design. The drive to distinguish a specialty cafe from the ‘Central Perk/coffeehouse’ vibe on the 90s is largely being achieved by way of brand, architecture, packaging, and signage. Coffee cups are now lifestyle choices, stores are being designed with Instagram shots in mind, and packaging is being reimagined as a kitchen ornament, something to be shown off and not just thrown in a cupboard. In recognition of this, SCAA is delighted to launch a new Design Pavilion, a new space to highlight some of the best packaging design available in coffee today, and learn the story behind each design.
We’ll be announcing more about these inaugural events soon, so stay tuned to our social media accounts and newsletters for more information.
Stephen Morrissey is the Senior Creative Advisor for the Specialty Coffee Association of America.