The cold brew niche of the coffee market is expanding to quench consumers’ thirst for the smooth beverage. At the retail level, Mintel reports, cold brew sales swelled more than five-fold over the past five years.
Restaurant operators have been catching up to demand over the last two years, with national coffee chains launching their own versions of the traditionally craft beverage. Not surprisingly, data from Technomic’s MenuMonitor found that mentions of cold brew on menus soared 64% during the past year alone.
As with other trend-forward beverages, such as watermelon water, coconut water, acai drinks and matcha, the demand for cold brew reflects the preferences of younger consumers. According to Technomic’s 2016 Beverage Consumer Trend Report, 22% of consumers would like to see cold brew coffee at restaurants. Among the 34-and-under crowd, that figure rises to 27%.
Several other factors are driving sales of cold brew, especially among younger coffee drinkers. Flavor is the most important attribute for all consumers choosing where to order a beverage, but it’s especially important for younger consumers, Technomic’s trend report noted. Younger consumers are also more likely to prefer portable beverages and are much more likely to be drawn to operations offering new and unique beverage flavors.
Cold brew’s image as an artisan and innovative product gives it cachet as well—one that has resulted in consumers showing a willingness to pay a premium for it. According to Technomic, the average price of cold brew coffee is 65% higher than for traditional filter coffee ($4.23 vs. $2.56).
Bottled or canned cold brew provides a way of extending the coffee shop experience beyond the coffee shop. Ready-to-drink (RTD) cold brew also lines up well with the growing desire for portability and convenience, especially as off-premise sales continue to climb across segments. For many consumers, cold brew also replaces soft drinks as a grab-and-go option because of its flavor and caffeine content.
Shelf stability also makes RTD cold brew a mixologist’s friend, providing a convenient, time-saving and premium base for increasingly popular coffee drinks. Wyndham Grand Hotels, for example, crafts cold brew-based beverages from 4-6 p.m. daily during its “Brew Parlor” happy hour. Options include Five Spice Shaken Iced Coffee, made with Thai chili, cinnamon, clove, star anise and sweetened condensed milk.
Similarly, Peet’s Coffee recently released three cold brew beverages on its summer menu, all inspired by the fog of San Francisco. Offerings include Cold Brew Fog, a blend of whipped cold brew and chicory; Cold Brew Fog latte, which blends milk with the Cold Brew Fog; and Mojito Black Tie, a combination of cold brew, mint, sweetened condensed milk and half-and-half.
DanoneWave’s STOK Cold Brew Coffee is now available in ready-to-drink Black, Vanilla & Mocha. For more information, contact DanoneWave at 1-888-620-9910.
This post is sponsored by Danone Away From Home