Ingredient innovation could give iced coffee a healthy boost

3 Oct 2018

Iced coffee is the fastest growing segment of the coffee category, and there is huge potential for ingredients with added health benefits to further drive its growth.

Ingredient innovation could give iced coffee a healthy boost

Roasted coffee is still the largest segment, but iced coffee accounted for one in five new coffee launches worldwide in 2017, up from 16% a year earlier, according to market research from Mintel. It says younger European consumers are particularly interested in added benefits from iced coffee, but this is a largely untapped market. In Germany, for example, 41% of consumers aged 18-44 are interested in trying chilled coffee with added protein, compared to 21% of those aged 45 and over.

Starbucks launched an added protein coffee in the US in 2015, but few brands have followed, despite growing consumer interest in health and wellness, and high protein diets in particular. What is more, many younger Europeans are interested in alternatives to sugary soft drinks, and Mintel found two-thirds (66%) of UK consumers aged 18-24 considered iced coffee a better option.

Apart from protein, other ingredients turning up in ready-to-drink coffee include antioxidants, probiotics and ‘superfood’ ingredients like coconut oil, grass-fed butter and chia seeds. Chilled coffee may prove to be a better format for innovation in general, even though innovation in healthy ingredients takes place in the hot coffee segment too.

Until recently, hot coffee was considered unsuitable for probiotics, for example, as bacteria tend to be sensitive to heat. But probiotic specialist Ganeden developed an ingredient for US coffee manufacturer Tipton Mills that withstands high temperatures, and the company now uses the probiotic ingredient in all its products, including chilled coffee and high protein shakes and smoothies.

However, the chilled coffee market holds particular appeal for younger consumers who like the format, and who are looking for a balance between refreshment and indulgence. In Europe, this depends on the country, and Mintel found German and UK consumers were more open to iced coffee than French and Italian consumers. The market researcher suggests the key to success for chilled coffee makers in Europe could be to target these younger consumers who have been introduced to iced coffee in branded coffee shops.

Young Europeans also tend to be more health conscious than older consumers, raising further opportunities for product developers, and rising interest in non-dairy milk alternatives and organic foods and drinks could also drive sales in the segment.

Meanwhile, in sports nutrition, there has been a recent craze for stirring collagen into hot coffee for a protein boost after exercise. Iced coffee with added protein – in the form of collagen or otherwise – could help answer this demand. The do-it-yourself option combines the benefits of caffeine and protein, but the sports nutrition segment may also be open to a more refreshing option.

Read all the latest 'beverage news'

Related news

Gen Z consumers are thirsty for variety in beverages

Gen Z consumers are thirsty for variety in beverages

31 May 2022

As Gen Z consumers gain disposable income, they are looking to quench their thirst with beverage brands that are clean, sustainable and socially responsible, according to a report from the global consumer trend forecaster WGSN.

Read more 
Tea flavour innovation in China unites tradition with modernity

Tea flavour innovation in China unites tradition with modernity

13 Apr 2022

Chinese tea brands are innovating with new flavours, blends and formats, and even making a foray into food with tea-flavoured food and drink launches.

Read more 
Low- and no-alcohol beverages see significant growth globally

Low- and no-alcohol beverages see significant growth globally

11 Apr 2022

Alcohol-free and low-alcohol beverages are helping drive growth for many alcohol manufacturers that have been struggling to adapt to the changing tastes of the market in recent years.

Read more 
Baby formula brands innovate with clean label launches

Baby formula brands innovate with clean label launches

7 Apr 2022

Clean label baby food is receiving a significant amount of development, with two recent brands ByHeart and Bobbi launching formulations certified by the Clean Label Project with a Purity Award.

Read more 
Consumers seek ashwagandha-fueled relaxation in beverages

Consumers seek ashwagandha-fueled relaxation in beverages

28 Mar 2022

Ashwagandha has been used in India for centuries, and it is only in recent years that consumers in the US and now Europe are realising its health benefits, with manufacturers starting to add this adaptogen to beverage formulations.

Read more 
A new brew: Ayurvedic coffee in India, adaptogenic coffee from Finland

A new brew: Ayurvedic coffee in India, adaptogenic coffee from Finland

10 Mar 2022

Coffee is probably one of the world’s most popular functional beverages, providing millions with their daily caffeine hit. However, some brands are taking its functional benefits further by adding in botanicals, vitamins, and other nutrients.

Read more 
Coca-Cola is spreading itself outside beverages to expand its market

Coca-Cola is spreading itself outside beverages to expand its market

28 Feb 2022

With 130 years of experience behind the brand Coca-Cola, it would be easy to imagine that the brand would be comfortably reliant on one of its 15 billion-dollar brands that make up the portfolio of one of the largest beverage companies in the world.

Read more 
Microdrink startup Waterdrop expands in US, looks to move global

Microdrink startup Waterdrop expands in US, looks to move global

24 Feb 2022

Australian beverage startup Waterdrop has raised €60 million ($70 million) in a Series B funding round led by Singapore-based investment firm Temasek. The startup, which makes microdrinks — water-soluble, sugar-free cubes packed with plant-b...

Read more 
Synthesising volatile aroma compounds to make alcohol-free beer taste better

Synthesising volatile aroma compounds to make alcohol-free beer taste better

18 Feb 2022

A Danish startup is using synthetic biology to produce the volatile aroma compounds that are lost when brewers make low- and no-alcohol beer.

Read more 
Can sugar-reducing tech revive falling fruit juice sales?

Can sugar-reducing tech revive falling fruit juice sales?

12 Feb 2022

Better Juice’s naturally sugar-reduced fruit juice will hit US supermarket shelves in spring 2022 thanks to a partnership with GEA. Could this turn around the long-term decline in fruit juice sales?

Read more