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The craft beer boom, which is primarily driven by younger consumers, is having spill-over effects on other industries, including the coffee sector. Within the sector, cold-brew coffee is gaining popularity. However, given its unique taste profile and perceived health benefits, opportunities exist for cold-brew producers to appeal to young as well as older age group consumers, finds leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

Since the brewing process does not require heat, the resulting cold-brew coffee drink has a smoother taste which often reduces the need for creamers, sugar or sweeteners. As a result, several consumers perceive cold-brew coffee to be a healthier alternative to traditional coffee.

GlobalData found that health and fitness is a high priority for younger consumers, hence the potential health benefits of cold-brew coffee are likely to be a key motivator for purchase among this cohort. This reflects in its 2017 Q4 global consumer survey, which shows that 21 % of consumers are interested and already purchasing beverages with cold-brew claims, while a further 27 % are interested but not yet actively buying such products.

Matthew Perry, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, explains: “A number of consumers are now looking for more premium and indulgent soft drinks which demonstrate quality, authenticity and artisanal production methods. The fact that cold-brew coffee has been around for hundreds of years may heighten the appeal of the beverage among younger consumers driving the craft movement.”

In particular, younger consumers aged between 18 and 34 are more interested in cold-brew, with 28 % globally interested and actively buying such beverages, reveals the survey. This is 11 percentage points higher than those aged 35 and over.

Perry concludes: “Given the popularity of cold-brew among younger age groups, producers may wish to target these consumers with their offerings. However, it is important to understand that while the unique processing methods and sensory aspect of cold-brew may encourage younger consumers to experiment with the beverage, cold-brew coffee’s smoother, less acidic taste may resonate with older consumers who may prefer milder flavors and products which require less sugar.”