How did the three-in-one coffee that I drank from childhood to adulthood became the bottom of the “coffee contempt chain”

People often joked that the blood in the blood vessels of the beaters is not blood, but coffee. Brewing a cup of coffee before starting work is a common habit of many workplace people every morning.

I also often feel too late to write (Kai) manuscripts (Hei) in the evening, so I can’t feel refreshed in the morning, and I have to go to the drinking fountain to make a cup of coffee to continue my life. There I always meet "different" colleagues. : Some took out the cold brew coffee that had been extracted for the whole night from the refrigerator, some poured his espresso liquid on the milk ice cream they just bought, and some took a hand-washing pot and leisurely circled "watering"…

Although they have different ways of drinking coffee, they all have one thing in common-looking at the three-in-one coffee I tore apart, they said to me with a smile, "Be nice to yourself."

According to the USDA Global Supply and Demand Report, China’s per capita coffee consumption has reached 15 cups/year. 72% of China's coffee market is instant coffee, of which three-in-one instant coffee such as Nescafe 2+1 takes the largest share.

Three-in-one coffee is the most consumed coffee category and the first cup of coffee that many people drink, but now it has become the bottom end of the coffee contempt chain.

Is non-dairy creamer the original sin of three-in-one coffee?

For a long time, the three-in-one coffee that combines creamer, sugar, and instant coffee is all my impressions of coffee. The sweet, smooth taste and the unique aroma of coffee have become my imagination of petty bourgeoisie life. .

In the quiet afternoon, I washed a cup of Nestlé 3-in-1 coffee with a red coffee cup. This is my "literary and artistic" enlightenment.

But now, this cup of Enlightenment coffee is being abandoned by more and more consumers. "Despising" three-in-one coffee has become the standard for drinking coffee.

According to data from CBNdata's "Advanced Trends in China's Consumption in 2019", the proportion of online retail sales of instant coffee is declining year by year.

Mintel's "China Beverage Report-Coffee" also pointed out that although instant coffee is still the most popular with consumers, its market growth is slowing down. The market share of instant coffee is likely to be eaten away by ready-to-drink coffee beverages, ear-hook coffee and capsule coffee.

Upgrading from the "first cup of coffee" to "other coffee" is becoming a new trend for coffee consumers. When I asked some friends who have completed the consumption upgrade why they no longer drink three-in-one coffee, the answer is always the same. The same concern-health.

Looking at the ingredient list of the three-in-one coffee, you can see that, as the protagonist of the "three-in-one", the content of coffee powder is the least, accounting for only about 10% of the ingredients. The rest of the creamer and sugar account for nearly 90%. Evaluate that drinking three-in-one coffee is actually drinking sweet milk with caffeine.

Among the most criticized is the creamer contained in the 3-in-1 coffee, which is the non-dairy creamer in the ingredient list.

Non-dairy creamer is often used as a substitute for milk powder. The difference is that milk powder is spray-dried from natural fresh milk, while non-dairy creamer is a synthetic artificial product made of refined vegetable oil or hydrogenated vegetable oil, casein, etc.

The nutritional value of the two is different, but the taste is similar. Therefore, in cereals, ready-to-drink milk tea and other "milk" foods, you can often see non-dairy creamer instead of milk powder in the ingredient list, and whether the non-dairy creamer is healthy also becomes The hot food issue that people are concerned about.

Non-dairy creamer is a powdery granule obtained by wrapping the oil with glucose syrup, adding an emulsifier, and finally spray drying. The trans fatty acids that may be generated during the refining process are the main reason for people's panic.

Some medical reports point out that consumption of trans fatty acids can increase the risk of coronary heart disease, and trans fatty acids are also one of the causes of hyperlipidemia and fatty liver.

The negative news from various studies has made many consumers talk about "anti" discoloration. For this reason, there are even more terrifying rumors that drinking three-in-one coffee is equivalent to "chronic suicide".

In fact, any remarks about toxicity out of dose is meaningless. According to the guidelines of the World Health Organization, the safe upper limit for daily consumption of trans fatty acids is 2g (the safe upper limit of vitamin C is also 2g). There is currently no report that consuming trans fatty acids below 2g per day will affect human health.

In addition, trans fatty acids are only by-products during the hydrogenation process of non-dairy fat powder. At present, the complete hydrogenation process that does not produce trans fatty acids is very mature. It can be seen in the nutrition table of the three-in-one coffee that even if non-dairy creamer is used, the content of trans fatty acids is also a safe value of 0g (the national standard stipulates that less than 0.3g can be marked as 0g).

▲ The sugar content is about 59.4g. Picture from: Shenzhen Quality Research Institute

In other words, a cup of three-in-one coffee a day will not have any effect on your health, and its sugar content is not as much as a cup of half-sugar milk tea.

However, under the healthy consumption trend of sugar-free and low-fat, more and more consumers are not pleasing the sugar and fat of three-in-one coffee. According to the data report of Tmall brewing industry, the consumption scale of specialty coffee in 2020 will be similar. An increase of 169% over the same period.

High-quality coffee with healthy attributes is getting consumers' attention, and Chinese consumers are becoming more and more able to drink "bitter".

A sense of ritual in bitterness

The caffeine in coffee can stimulate the nervous system and keep people high and spirited. This refreshing effect makes coffee and the workplace naturally tied together. Picking up coffee has to face a mountain of documents.

But with the growth of specialty coffee shops and the popularity of coffee education, the scene of drinking coffee is shifting from the office to the home. Data 100's survey results show that the most mainstream scene for consumers to drink coffee is in the office (74%), followed by at home (65%), which is higher than the leisure and entertainment scene (64%).

Coffee enters the home from the office. With a larger and more free scene and more time, coffee can become less monotonous.

On social media, sharing a pot of hand-made coffee has become a new topic for consumers who pursue art. Drinking coffee is changing to the direction of "tasting" coffee.

It may take an afternoon to make a cup of hand brewed coffee: grinding beans, adjusting the ratio of coffee to water, mastering the temperature, paying attention to the method of filling water, and strictly controlling the time of filling…It is tedious, but the aroma of coffee is heated by the smell At the moment it was brought out, the pressure of people seemed to be taken away by the soft water vapor.

The cumbersomeness of brewing coffee by hand also means a sense of ritual. Brewing a cup of coffee is like completing a small challenge. This kind of self-improvement brings a sense of pleasure that convenient instant coffee does not have.

▲ Picture from:

However, the cumbersomeness also means the threshold. Between professional hand brewed coffee and "dumb-style" instant coffee, new coffees such as hanging ear coffee and bagged coffee have driven a group of consumers with a low threshold and a sense of "light" rituals. Consumption upgrade.

Hanging ear coffee divides the steps of hand brewing coffee into two steps: grinding the raw materials and brewing, the first step is handed over to the manufacturer, the beans are ready to be opened by tearing the packaging bag, and the second step is handed over to the consumer, simply using water Two laps of brewing will give you a sense of hands-on ritual. The difficulty and pleasure of brewing by hand are balanced in the hanging ear coffee.

The representative of Hanger Coffee, "Sumida River Coffee" is currently one of the hottest coffee brands on online platforms. As of the end of 2020, Sumida River’s cumulative global sales were 300 million cups.

In the past March, Sumidagawa Coffee announced that it has completed nearly 300 million yuan in Series B financing. This coffee brand created by IT engineers during their stay in Japan is becoming a new target sought after by capital.

Hanging ear coffee and coffee bags are essentially instant coffees that are just as fast as they can be brewed. The reason why they can snatch consumers away from instant coffee is because they capture the subtle changes in consumers' demand for coffee.

Data100 surveyed consumers' coffee drinking motives in "Coffee Market Trend Insights", among which refreshing needs accounted for the highest proportion (83%), followed by relaxation and stress (68%).

▲ Coffee powder + sugar + milk + hot water = three in one coffee

Drinking coffee is no longer synonymous with caffeine intake. A pleasant drinking experience is becoming a new coffee demand for consumers. The lack of traditional three-in-one instant coffee has left hanging ear coffee room for overtaking.

Increasingly professional coffee consumers

Coffee has experienced three waves from its appearance to popularity and then to popularization.

The first wave of coffee was instant rations with Nestlé as the mainstay. Nestlé used spray drying technology to transform the otherwise difficult-to-preserve fresh coffee into a can of "spiritual food" that can be kept at home.

In the second wave of coffee, the main body became a coffee shop represented by Starbucks. The coffee shop used espresso-based beverages to promote coffee to a wider audience.

The comfortable sofas and laid-back atmosphere of the coffee shop in "Friends" have become consumers' new impression of coffee, and cappuccino and latte have become synonymous with coffee.

In the third wave of coffee, the quality, origin, and story of coffee have attracted more consumers' attention. The emergence of boutique cafes has made consumers realize that a cup of black and bitter coffee can also be small, exquisite and rich in layers.

Coffee shops are no longer the only window for consumers to enjoy specialty coffee. The pursuit of high-quality coffee makes them happy to learn coffee knowledge, purchase and make a cup of coffee by themselves.

The pros and cons of coffee beans have become an intuitive manifestation of "quality". Under the subtle education of specialty coffee shops, "high-quality coffee beans are the only way to have good coffee" has become the consensus of coffee lovers.

Robusta coffee beans are commonly used raw materials for most three-in-one coffees because of their high caffeine content, resistance to pests, and large yield. Robusta has a bitter and strong taste, and the aroma is lighter than Arabica, another mainstream coffee bean.

Arabica has a lower caffeine and a richer aroma than Robusta. Due to its tolerance to insects, its yield is lower than Robusta, and its price is higher than Robusta.

Ever since, the difference in aroma and price makes Robusta, which is cheap and large in caffeine, rank behind Arabica in the coffee bean contempt chain, and Robusta's instant coffee is widely used, and Arabica is also used. I can't hold my head up in front of the specialty coffee.

Consumers' demand for coffee is more than just caffeine. The aroma of coffee and even stories have become one of the factors that affect shopping choices.

In addition to coffee beans, craftsmanship has also become a standard for consumers to measure "quality."

Traditional instant coffee is made by spray-drying the coffee concentrate after extraction to obtain coffee powder. During this process, the aromatic substances in the coffee will volatilize due to the high temperature, so the obtained coffee powder often lacks the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. .

In order to retain the aroma of coffee, coffee manufacturers have thought of a lot of ways. The capsule coffee represented by Nestlé uses compressed gas to bring out the aroma of espresso.

▲ Picture from: Daily Financial News

The freeze-dried coffee powder represented by three and a half meals uses freeze-drying to freeze the coffee, and then sublimate the solid water to obtain loose porous deconstruction. The ground freeze-dried coffee powder will retain more aromatic substances, and at the same time The solubility is better.

VIA coffee developed by Starbucks claims that it uses ultra-fine grinding technology to grind coffee beans into ultra-fine particles, which retains the original flavor of the coffee, but also has strong solubility. It can be dissolved in alcohol and tea beverages to form a mix and match. .

Cold brew coffee has replaced hand brewing as a new coffee drinking method, and cold brew coffee liquid has also become a new type of coffee.

Cold brew coffee liquid is a long-term cold brewing with ice drops to obtain a coffee concentrate that retains the aroma and flavor of coffee. When drinking, you only need to pour it into water or other beverages to dissolve a cup of cold brew coffee.

Three-in-one coffee lags behind in the "coffee contempt chain". It is a consumption upgrade that has been impacted by specialty coffee. Behind the consumption upgrade is the upgrade of the coffee industry, the upgrade of the production process, and the upgrade of consumption concepts.

Being at the end of the "contempt chain" also means that cheaper three-in-one coffee should be more accessible to the people and have a larger market audience and demand. This demand will not be replaced by specialty coffee for a long time, and the real worry about the impact of specialty coffee is probably the small coffee shops on the streets.

Higher and higher

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