Coffee is the new black (gold)

Everyone wants a tastier caffeine fix - and an energy boost!

Climate change, crop disease and deforestation – things were not looking good for the coffee bean in recent years. For some coffee connoisseurs, the panic reached crisis levels, and so they intervened, only to revolutionize the joe we all know.

December 2018 saw the launch of Atomo molecular coffee – coffee made, well, without coffee! Through a process of reverse engineering, they also managed to remove the traditionally bitter taste that coffee lovers have learned to accept. In fact, there seemed to be no need for milk and sugar concoctions anymore. Suddenly people weren’t drinking their coffee black to look ‘cool’ while they secretly loathed the taste.

Moreover, this type of black coffee (which morphed into Atomatic) is being drunk not for appearances, but for actual superhero abilities. Daily consumption over a period of three weeks has seen the productivity of Atomatic ‘addicts’ skyrocket: analyzing twice as much data than before, writing 3,000 more words per day and replacing an extra 20 hips per week.

Until now, the dominant discourse has favoured the earthly, living, raw and organic above all else. But what if the tide is changing, and the synthetic simply becomes too good to ignore? Will all product lines become vulnerable to replacement and cannibalization, even those in the ‘natural’ industries? It’s a threat worth considering.

Just like the spice trade, there will always be a market for natural products; but the high prices demanded by the dominant players have been disrupted for good. Despite social media campaigns to tarnish the image of ‘fake coffee’, the market has opted for the superior smoothness and bigger boost of the ‘better brew’ – made, not grown.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.