Friday, February 9, 2018

Cold Brew Coffee and Milk Make the Perfect Match

The percentage of Americans drinking coffee on a daily basis increased to 62% this past year, up from 57% in 2016, according to the National Coffee Association. This increase may be attributed to the growth in premium, gourmet beans as well as the variety and convenience of grab-and-go, ready-to-drink (RTD) coffees. The latter has experienced an upsurge thanks to the cold-brew phenomenon, which for many, turns an otherwise bitter beverage into something smoother, more palatable.

Consumption of RTD coffee is highest among 13- to 18-year olds, as younger consumers, in general, feel less confident brewing their own coffee. This should come as no surprise. This is a generation that grew up playing in coffee shops while mom and dad sipped and socialized.

This is a curious and adventurous audience, and thus presents an excellent opportunity for dairy processors to offer next-generation cold-brew coffee beverages. What do I mean by next generation? Well check this out.  utm_source=BerryonDairy&utm_medium=728x90&utm_campaign=SynergyPureColdBrewCoffee&utm  _content=AnimatedBanner

Though it’s not (yet) for this younger—Gen Z—consumer, as you must be 21- or older to purchase, this new RTD coffee from CafĂ© Agave is an extreme example of the opportunities with cold brew. Rolling out this spring, new Cafe Agave Spiked Cold Brew Coffee is a first-of-its-kind to market. It’s a blend of alcohol, cold-brewed coffee, real dairy cream, agave nectar and natural flavors. The wine-based beverage (12.5% alcohol by volume) comes in four flavors: Espresso Shot, Caffe Mocha, Salted Caramel and Vanilla Cinnamon.

“Cold-brewed coffee is the hottest thing around right now,” says Mark Scialdone, co-founder. “Cold brew coffee is no longer reserved for java aficionados, it now has mass market appeal.”

“Cafe Agave Spiked Cold Brew is about a lifestyle,” says Ami-Lynn Bakshi, co-founder. “We are constantly on the go, non-stop, 24/7. We talked a lot about how we always start the night with a cup of coffee. And so, Cafe Agave Spiked Cold Brew was born.”

I’m not suggesting dairy processors get in the booze business. But, I am suggesting you get more creative to appeal to the millennial and Gen Z consumer who likes to explore new beverages. Beverage entrepreneurs are onto it, with most PROUDLY using milk or cream as the number-two ingredient. And, take note, one of the beauties of the cold-brew process is that coffee is less bitter. This allows for the development of beverages with no or very little sweetener, which appeals to today’s beverage consumer. 

At the convenience store show (NACS) this past October, Bowery Coffee Company provided a sneak peek at its Cold Brew + Milk line, which comes in 8-ounce slim cans. Made with whole milk, the drink comes in Original, Mocha, Tahitian Vanilla and Toasted Caramel flavors.

Hey Day showcased its new 11-ounce can line, which includes three varieties—Chocolate, Espresso and Vanilla—made with reduced fat milk. Calories and sugar content are kept low though the use of monk fruit extract.

In Canada, Natrel has repackaged its iced coffee drinks in 310-milliliter sleek single-serve plastic bottles. The dairy beverages are intended for the growing convenience and snacking channels. 

Peet’s Coffee and Tea Corp., now offers a line of RTD cold-brew coffee bottles. One of its specialties is The Black Tie, which is described as bold, smooth and never bitter. It is made with sweetened condensed milk and cream. Other dairy-based offerings include Au Lait, Dark Chocolate and limited-edition Peppermint Mocha.

The Coca-Cola Company will be rolling out Dunkin Donuts Shot in the Dark this May. The 8.4-ounce cans of coffee and milk come in Mocha, Regular and Vanilla flavors.

Coffee Milk is the newest flavor in The Farmer’s Cow popular series of limited-edition milks. Sweet and creamy, it blends rich whole milk with coffee extract, natural flavors and just the right amount of real sugar. There are no artificial flavors or colors, and no high fructose corn syrup. All of the flavors of The Farmer’s Cow Limited Edition Milk are produced in small batches and sold in collectible glass bottles. Each 8-ounce serving has 200 calories and provides 8 grams of protein. The Coffee Milk is easy to find in the dairy case with a latte colored cap and The Farmer’s Cow signature brand.

DanoneWave is expanding its refrigerated Stok cold-brew coffee brand with Stok Protein Espresso. Each 12-ounce bottle contains 16 grams of protein. The beverage is being marketing as “fuel for your daily grind.” A serving contains as much protein as two large eggs and a slice of bacon and as much calcium as a glass of milk.Its ingredient list is simply: Coffee (Filtered Water, Coffee), Skim Milk, Micellar Casein (Milk Protein), Cane Sugar, Cream.

Marketing materials state: “To coffee nerds like us, caffeine and protein is a no-brainer. It’s how you start the day. Or an all-nighter. We experimented—over and over—until we landed on a protein blend that complements our low and slow cold-brew. No chalky aftertaste here—the STOK blend of micellar casein with a little whey hits the super-smooth bullseye.”

Here’s another selling point beverage marketers will likely soon capitalize on: Coffee is the number-one source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet, according to research from the National Coffee Association.
And, let’s start talking about what milk brings to coffee beverages. Numerous consumer articles this past week were based on the scientific paper published in the January 2018 Journal of Food Science and Technology (abstract HERE) that compared the nutritional comparison of cows milk with milk alternatives.

The purpose of the paper was to help consumers make informed decisions. Most of the consumer media communicated that nothing compares to cows milk’s strong nutritional package. The closest alternative is soy. Link HERE to an article written by a registered dietitian.

It’s time to get creative with cold brew and compete in the beverage business. With value-added beverages, single-serve, eye-catching packaging is paramount. Co-packers can assist. (Link HERE for co-packing assistance.) There is a real opportunity to take a functional foods positioning with cold-brew, dairy-based beverages.  utm_source=BerryonDairy&utm_medium=728x90&utm_campaign=SynergyPureColdBrewCoffee&utm  _content=AnimatedBanner

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