Retail Sales of Cold Brew Coffee Up 115% From 2014

By , September 21, 2015 3:20 pm

Cold_Brew.5571c58caf19fThe popularity of cold brew coffee in the United States has exploded in the last year, according to new research from Mintel. Retail sales of cold brew reflect its expanding role in the coffee category with estimated 115 percent growth from the year prior, reaching $7.9 million in sales. Growth has been steady since 2010, increasing 339 percent through estimated 2015. However, cold brew remains a small part of the overall ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee segment, making up just 0.4 percent of sales in estimated 2015.

Overall, 24 percent of consumers currently drink retail-purchased cold brew coffee. Older Millennials, those age 21-38 (55 percent), and men (30 percent) stand out as groups most likely drinking this type. Mintel research indicates that consumers are most likely interested in cold brew because they enjoy trying new styles of coffee preparation (37 percent).

Despite its rising popularity in the US, the majority of cold brew coffee non-drinkers remain uninterested in trying the product (58 percent). This is particularly true of older generations, including 65 percent of Baby Boomers. However, while 45 percent of Millennials express disinterest in cold brew, the same number (45 percent) of Millennials say they are interested in trial. Of the 76 percent of Americans not drinking cold 

brew coffees at home, one third (33 percent) say they have not tried but are interested in doing so.

While cold brew promotes a smoother, less acidic taste and a naturally sweeter flavor, Mintel research shows that the majority of consumers who have tried, but do not like cold brew say it is because of the taste (48 percent). The higher price point is a detractor for a mere 9 percent of cold brew drinkers. Consumers who have not tried cold brew and are not interested in doing so are most likely to cite taste perception as the reason (83 percent). Highlighting a potential need for consumer education, nearly one in 10 consumers (9 percent) who have not tried, and are not interested in trying, do not know what cold brew is.

“Retail sales of cold brew coffee reflect its rising popularity as growth has been steady since 2010, shooting up rapidly from 2014-2015,” said Elizabeth Sisel, Beverage Analyst at Mintel. “While cold brew represents a small portion of the overall category, our research indicates curiosity about trying a new style of coffee is driving current consumer demand. However, this may foretell future challenges for the beverage; when a newer coffee brewing method begins to trend, it may easily overshadow cold brew’s current popularity.”

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