Strategic advice for the food and beverage industry

Cold-brew coffee hits the ground running

Coffee lovers everywhere will be heartened by new research that gives the green light to drinking several cups of coffee a day.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal on November 22, found that drinking 3-4 cups a day was more likely to benefit health than cause harm. Not only did researchers find that drinking coffee could cut our risk of heart disease by 15% and decrease mortality rates, it was also linked to reducing the incidence of a variety of other diseases and health conditions, including specific cancers.

There’s been no stopping the onward march of coffee and other caffeine drinks, and yet more good news about coffee is only likely to further fuel the sector’s growth (see 10 Key Trends 2018, Key Trend 6, Beverages Redefined). Consumers are seeking more natural sources of energy and ready-to-drink coffee seems to be providing the solution.

Cold Brew has been one of the growth areas of 2017, with Mintel stating that total US retail sales increased by 460% between 2015-17. This artisanal, almost “craft style” method of brewing, much beloved of urban hipsters, is slowly gaining wider appeal, especially with Millennials.

Brands are experimenting with combining coffee with a range of “on-trend” ingredients including coconut oil, nut butters, protein and matcha to provide a more intense and sustained energy hit and a stronger health halo.

The most successful products link to multiple Key Trends, and cold brew coffee brands are linking to the plant-based trend. One example is fast-growing US brand Califia, which markets a range of beverages combining cold brew coffee and almond milk. In Sweden, the Oatly oatmilk brand even launched a Cold Brew Oat latte drink this September.

Consumers are always on the lookout for something that’s new and tastes good. If it also gives you energy, and can benefit your wider health – not to mention connecting to other consumer interests like plant-based – even better.

Coffee has benefited from a makeover that began with Starbucks, and has evolved into a whole new area of innovation. Our love affair with coffee, which began in the 17th century, looks set to run and run.

By Emma Finn

Posted in Editorial

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