One of the hottest trends in refreshment services today is cold brew coffee.
Cold brew coffee is not a big market yet, but it is one of the fastest growing refreshments and it is especially popular with the 18-to-34-year-old consumers. We’ll get to the numbers in a moment, but first, a definition is in order.
Cold brew, cold water extract, or toddy coffee refers to steeping coffee grounds at room temperature or cold water for an extended period. By brewing the coffee at lower temperatures, many of the solubles do not totally dissolve, resulting in lower acidity and caffeine content when brewed in equal volume.
To prepare cold brew coffee, soak coarse-ground beans in water for 12 or more hours. The water stays at room temperature, although cold water can also be used. Then steep the grounds using a paper filter, a metal sieve, a French press or felt in the toddy system case. The result is a concentrate diluted with milk or water, and can be served hot, over ice, or blended with ice and other ingredients.
Cold brew coffee is not the same as iced coffee, which is coffee brewed hot and then chilled by pouring it over or adding ice. Iced coffee can, however, refer to cold brew coffee served on ice.
Bunn, the brewing equipment manufacturer, citing Multi-Sponsor Surveys Inc., notes that cold brew coffee consumption has grown by 5 percent, from 15 to 20 percent of non-hot coffee orders, in the past two years. The 18-to-34-year-olds account for 31 percent of cold brew customers, the largest age group, up from 22 percent in 2012.
The Beverage Marketing Corp., the New York City based research firm, noted that ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee led all liquid refreshment segments in 1-year growth from 2014 to 2015. RTD coffee jumped 19.1 percent, more than doubling the growth of the second fastest growing category, energy drinks, which grew 9.7 percent, followed by RTD tea, 7.4 percent, bottled water, 6.8 percent, value-added water, 4 percent, and sports drinks, 3.8 percent.
During the five-year period from 2010 through 2014, U.S. volume sales of RTD coffee sold through all channels increased 48 percent, from 50.6 million gallons in 2010 to 89.7 million gallons at the end of 2014, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp.
Chicago-based Mintel reported that while the RTD coffee segment remains small in comparison to roasted and single-cup segments — about 15 percent of retail sales in 2015 — but popularity with coffee drinkers is growing.
Cold brew coffee is an option for workers because it has a unique taste and provides a “lift me up” throughout the work day. San Jose, San Francisco Bay Area and East Bay employers will find that offering cold brew coffee will enhance the work experience for employees throughout the day.
To find out more about cold brew coffee and other refreshments, contact your San Jose, San Francisco Bay Area and East Bay refreshment services partner, PVS Refreshments at 844.527.4800.