Last weekend the Aiya sales team flew up to Seattle to attend and exhibit at Coffee Fest from October 4th-6th. Smaller in scale than the other coffee show Aiya attends – the SCAA – Coffee Fest is more of a regionally-based event, giving exhibitors the opportunity to meet with people local to the show. We were really happy to have met with many potential customers from the Pacific Northwest and surrounding areas.
Coffee Fest was originally as you would expect, born from local coffee and coffee culture so a smaller scale, focused trade show like this is always interesting; exhibitors and companies at the show can confirm current trends as well as hint at up and coming trends in the industry. Tea lattes, for example, have been making their way on to cafe menus all around the country and as a reflection of that even more tea companies were present at this year’s show. The biggest growth in representation we noticed this year was the amount of oatmeal and nutritional snack bar companies present at the show. More and more cafes are adding food and snacks to their menus so it makes sense that Coffee Fest is attracting companies from the snack side of things. The biggest surprise for us in particular was the amount of oatmeal companies present. With coffee and oatmeal, Coffee Fest had breakfast covered!
At Aiya’s booth we sampled our Ceremonial Matcha straight and Matcha Zen Cafe Blend as a Matcha latte. Matcha lattes fit in well with coffee culture and the chilly Seattle weather so they went over very well. Many of the cafe owners and employees that we spoke with are eager to start offering Matcha in either a latte or frappe format. We look forward to seeing what they come up with!
Having met the smaller business owners who drive industry trends, we were able to clearly see that although Matcha is definitely growing in North America, it still has a long way to go as it is not a completely common menu item. We love doing shows like this to spread Matcha information and get it on more menus each year, pushing it closer to being common.
Next year Coffee Fest will be relocating from Seattle to Portland and Aiya will be there again. See you then!