Demand for iced coffee heats up

Demand for iced coffee heats up

Two-thirds of UK 18- to 24-year-old coffee drinkers think chilled coffee is a good alternative to sugary drinks, according to the latest research from Mintel Global New Products Database. This is compared to just 26% of drinkers aged 45+.

This echoes what is happening in America, where 68% of US 18- to 34-year-olds currently consume single-serve ready-to-drink coffee compared to 43% of all adults. Around one-in-five (19%) global new coffee launches was iced RTD in 2017, up from 16% in 2015.

Globally, Japan leads in RTD coffee innovation, accounting for 18% of all iced RTD coffee launches in 2017, followed by the US at 13%. Europe appears to be slower on the uptake, with just 3% of French and 4% of Italians having purchased iced coffee. Overall coffee sales in the UK in 2017 were 63,000 tonnes.

“Global investment in chilled, RTD coffee has increased as producers target a younger drinker who enjoys the format’s taste, refreshment and indulgence,” said Mintel Food & Drink associate director Jonny Forsyth. “RTD coffee is proving a better format for innovation than other hot-serve formats and, in 2017, manufacturers continued to push the format’s boundaries.

“Cold brew is helping to premiumise the RTD category and is growing fast in the US, albeit less so in other markets. But while new product launches of iced coffee have reached record highs globally, in the US cold brew has emerged as a vibrant growth segment of chilled coffee, and could prove to be the tipping point for take-up of cold coffee in Europe. The key to success lies with the younger generation who have been introduced to chilled coffee in branded coffee shops, which are growing quickly in Europe.”