Iced Coffee Enjoys Sales Lift

Cold-brew extracts are finding new life with fruit pairings, among other enhancements.

March 19, 2014

CHICAGO – Despite many areas of the country still experiencing winter weather, iced coffee sales are hot, Beverage Industry reports. According to Mintel research, cold-brew drinks market share of all coffee sales in U.S. coffeehouse and restaurant menus rose from 19% in 2009 to 24% during the first quarter of 2013.

“Cold coffee, especially frozen-blended, has become very trendy in major U.S. cities such as New York, but it is more than just a momentary fad,” said Jonny Forsyth, global drinks analyst at Mintel. “Its usage has been building for the last few years and actually reflects the changing tastes of the younger generation.”

Around 20% of U.S. consumers down iced coffee, compared with 83% of U.S. consumers who drink any kind of coffee. With iced coffee’s share on the upswing, more drink makers are adding essences and extracts to the cold beverage.

“Cold-brew extraction delivers a less acidic liquid coffee and a more balanced profile,” said Scott Geringer, vice president of extracts and ingredients for S&D Coffee & Tea. “For straight iced coffee beverage development, the use of cold brew extracts is a means of producing a more ‘drinkable’ product that expands the traditional consumer base.”

Other ingredients are being mixed with coffee to capture various consumer demographic groups. For example, Mintel has found that the biggest consumers of iced coffee are those between the ages of 18 and 24. “This new cohort crave[s] indulgence and [has] grown up drinking sweet-tasting, refreshing soft drinks,” said Forsyth.