Ready-to-Drink Coffee Market Percolates

Apr 18, 2002

Despite an uneven track record, food and beverage companies are now rushing to appeal to the twenty-something coffee bar set with ready-to-drink, sweetened, iced cappuccino-like drinks, reports Reuters.

Iced coffee is consumed mostly by 18- to 24-year-olds, more than twice any other age group, according to the National Coffee Association’s (NCA) 2001 National Coffee Drinking Trends survey. Of 107 million daily coffee drinkers, the NCA found there were 2 million daily drinkers of iced/cold coffee beverages, an additional 6 million weekly drinkers, plus another 41 million occasional drinkers. Statistics like these have attracted big consumer product companies such as PepsiCo Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., Morningstar Foods Inc., a division of Dean Foods Company, and Coca-Cola Co.

“Coffee drinks are not going to be the next bottled water or sports drinks. They are part of the bloom in non-carbonated beverages that we are seeing. They are going to be good niche products,” says Jeffrey Kanter, beverage analyst with Prudential Securities.

Moderator Comment: Should retailers follow the lead of the national brands and include coffee drinks in their private label offerings?

Only if they want to differentiate themselves from the
competition. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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