Ready-to-drink (RTD) or iced coffee has been seeing a period of strong product and market activity in recent years. It remains one of the smallest sectors of the soft drinks market in terms of new product activity, accounting for just over 4.2% of global launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in the 12 months to the end of July 2014.
This is up from less than 3% five years ago, however, and the actual number of launches has nearly tripled over that period. Asia continues to dominate in terms of RTD coffee introductions, accounting for over half (53%) of the global total, ahead of Europe with 30% and North America with 11.5%.
The nature of the market is changing, according to Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “Although ambient canned and bottled coffee drinks continue to dominate globally,” she reports, “particularly in well-established markets such as those in parts of Asia and the US, it is the chilled milk-based variants in lidded cups for on-the-go consumption that have been leading growth, particularly in the relatively undeveloped European market.”