Cold Brew Coffee as an Ingredient in Ready to Drink (RTD) Beverages

RTD coffee beverages are becoming a more attractive option for consumers around the world, an option that can be more functional or healthy even from supermarkets and corner store shelves and vending machines.

Looking to innovate and offer more sophisticated options, Cold Brew has become positioned as a key ingredient because of its flavorful notes that have captivated the industry. It’s an ingredient brought about by an extended filtration method (longer than traditional methods) with cold water that extracts the properties of the roasted coffee,  and additionally safeguards the coffee’s flavor and aroma. Around the world in 2021, there have been 280 launches of RTD Cold Brew beverages, the majority in the United States (48%), with a small amount in South Africa (5%) and Japan (4.6%) according to InnovaMarkets.com. This demonstrates that there’s a dynamic possibility and business opportunity for the energy and sophistication of Colombian coffee.

Cold Brew has become popular because it provides the benefits of coffee and includes the possibility of adding flavor to one’s healthy lifestyle. It is less acidic and has a high caffeine content, which means less sugar and milk. The benefits and potential of Cold Brew coffee are becoming increasingly evident. With 7% of the soft drink industry participating, it’s a beverage option free of gluten, lactose and sugars.

The surge in RTD beverages has generated endless possibilities, allowing for lactose-free ingredients, such as vegetable origin “milks” and those low in calories to provide a healthy experience for new conscientious consumers. Flavors such as vanilla, ginger and lemon (the predominant flavors for Cold Brew in 2021, according to InnovaMarkets.com) can also be incorporated making Cold Brew a very popular beverage option.

Cold Brew is a versatile ingredient that can be prepared in multiple presentations for different audiences, especially those that are health conscious or have an active lifestyle, like sports enthusiasts, a growing segment of the market. Because of this, considering Cold Brew as an ingredient is an interesting option for RTD beverage producers.

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