The younger generation is into new coffee experiences which can be coupled with on-the-go convenience, and RTD coffee effectively addresses this need. The category recorded impressive growth rates during the review period, and is set to continue this positive performance during the next five years.
Key suppliers are trying to address the growth in demand by expanding their marketing, distribution and new product development; in turn, further augmenting the profile of the category. One of the key product launches in 2017 was Kicking Horse Cold Brew, which can be regarded as the official entry of Kicking Horse Coffee Co, the leading supplier of coffee beans, into the RTD coffee space.
Another area of focus in new product development in RTD coffee is packaged cold-brewed coffee offerings, which serve as a good example of the influence of the trends in hot coffee on the RTD format. Perceived as higher quality and as having a better taste profile (less bitterness) cold-brewed coffee naturally imparts a premium image and craftsmanship, both of which are in great demand.
The North American Coffee Partnership (Starbucks) continued to lead RTD coffee in both retail value and volume terms in 2018. Leading brand Starbucks Frappuccino, which is sold in 192ml and 444ml metal cans, remained Starbucks’s cash cow in RTD coffee in 2018, as it enjoys wide distribution across retail channels, including supermarkets, hypermarkets, discounters and convenience stores.
Whilst Starbucks largely dominated RTD coffee a decade ago, its leadership has been gradually eroded by the rapidly expanding array of new players and brands that have been emerging. In conventional iced coffee, the Mr Brown brand is gradually becoming more visible on the shelves of retailers.
After the launch of its brand of the same name in 2016, Tim Hortons saw rapid growth in RTD coffee in Canada. In 2018 it continued to see double-digit growth, and was the only player other than The North American Coffee Partnership (Starbucks) to hold a double-digit value share in the category.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Soft Drinks market research database.