The Big Chill: Cold Coffee Is The Cool Kid On The Block Now

Image courtesy of Vanilla and Lace

When the temperature rises, the last thing many people want is a hot beverage. Iced coffee drinks aren’t a new thing , of course, but they certainly are the cool thing going on right now in that world.

Everywhere you look — in stores and cafes alike — it seems brands are cooling down their caffeinated products. Popular products of the past like sugary Frappuccinos from Starbucks are making room for things like iced espressos and lattes, as well as cold-brewed coffee products.

Starbucks, for example, said it had a 20% increase in iced drinks sales around the country after launching a cold brew coffee in its retail stores, Bloomberg notes in an in-depth look into the cold coffee category.

Successes like that are going to translate into the proliferation of these kinds of products on grocery store shelves as well, experts say.

“When given a choice, people tend to make the healthier, better-for-you choice as long as it’s within a reasonable cost premium,” Chris Campbell, the founder of Chameleon Cold-Brew, an Austin-based company with sales growing at triple-digit rates, told Bloomberg.

The ready-to-drink market has been growing by double digits every year since 2011, Bloomberg notes, and it’s not expected to stop: the market is at around $18 billion as of 2015, and experts believe the market will hit $3.6 billion by 2020.

Although many of the products on the market right now may not be to your liking, cold coffee products will get better, the pros say, because there’s demand out there for quality beverages.

And besides, it’s handy — kind of like beer, one blogger notes.

“Maybe you want to have a six-pack for your picnic,” Chermell Edwards, creator of Coffeetographer told Bloomberg. “You don’t go to a coffee shop and buy 10 coffees for your party, but you’ll buy cold brew. It’s like beer, like craft beer.”

Cold Coffee Is Booming in the U.S. [Bloomberg]