Iced-coffee popular among younger drinkers
The iced-coffee boom presents strong potential among younger drinkers, with Mintel research revealing that 66% of UK 18-24-year-olds say that chilled coffee is a good alternative to sugary drinks.
This compares to a quarter of drinkers aged 45+ and echoes what has happened in US, where younger drinkers – who are less ingrained in the ritual of drinking coffee hot – have driven RTD (ready-to-drink) coffee. This is according to the latest research from Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), which says cold coffee has drinkers buzzing, as around one in five (19%) global new coffee launches was iced, ready-to-drink (RTD) in 2017, up from 16% in 2015.
Jonny Forsyth, associate director, Mintel Food & Drink, said: “Global investment in chilled, RTD coffee has increased as producers target a younger drinker who enjoys the format’s taste, refreshment and indulgence. 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 which has been introduced to chilled coffee in branded coffee shops, which are growing quickly in Europe.”
In the US, chilled coffee saw growth of at least 10% annually between 2013-17, and more than half (56%) of new RTD coffee launches were cold brew in 2017, up from 38% the year prior.
RTD coffee is also building momentum in China. Mintel forecasts annual growth of near an estimated 20% in the next five years as RTD steals more share from instant coffee.
Globally, Japan leads in RTD coffee innovation, accounting for 18% of all iced RTD coffee launches in 2017. The US follows, accounting for 13% of these launches in 2017, up from 10% in 2016.
But despite the rapid rate of growth of RTD elsewhere in the world, Europeans remain resistant to the lure of iced coffee. While Spanish consumers are most likely to have tried iced/chilled coffee in Europe, only 10% have actually purchased it either from a store or online. Meanwhile, in “coffee purist” countries like France and Italy, purchase of iced/chilled coffee among all adults is just 3% and 4%, respectively.