Comax Flavors is showcasing cold brew as its “flavor of the month” for April 2020.

Smooth and rich, roasted black coffee with sweet brown nuances is cold steeped to create a full-bodied, mildly bitter flavor. This robust flavor is available in a liquid, water soluble form and can be used in a variety of applications including non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, dairy applications and non-dairy plant-based alternatives, syrup, confections and baked goods as well as nutrition and performance products.

Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee

Cold brew and iced coffee may appear to be the same, but they are not. The difference is in the preparation method. Cold brew is made by steeping ground coffee beans in cold water for 12-18 hours, while iced coffee is made using traditional brewed coffee poured over ice. It is said that cold brew is smoother, richer and more potent than iced coffee because the flavor is not diluted. 

Cold brew is flooding the market. According to Mintel, in 2017, more than half (56%) of new Ready-to-Drink (RTD) coffee launches in the U.S. were cold brew products, up from 38% the year prior. Between 2016 and 2017, U.S. cold brew sales registered 137% in year-over-year sales and reached an estimated $38 million in 2017. 

According to the National Coffee Association (NCA) National Coffee Data Trends 2019 market research study, 19% of respondents are currently drinking cold brew coffee while 31% of respondents are drinking RTD coffee. Coffee is a beloved beverage and has several holidays celebrated annually. National Cold Brew Day is celebrated April 20 while National Coffee Day is September 29 and International Coffee Day is on October 1.

On Solid Grounds

Coffee has been evolving in movements often described as “waves.” According to Allegra World Coffee Portal, the first wave was the adoption of coffee in America with “functional” as a defining character. 

The second wave was café culture described as “lifestyle” followed by the third wave of artisanal, “craft” coffee. The fourth wave highlights “science” while the fifth wave is emerging and is about a business and hospitality “focus.”

According to Mintel, roasted coffee is the largest segment of the coffee category with a 39.2% share of the market. In addition, RTD coffee is the fastest growing segment with a 31% increase in the last two years. 

Furthermore, according to IRI, refrigerated RTD coffee increased 26.4% for the 52 weeks ending May 19, 2019 in total U.S. multi-outlets. Euromonitor predicts RTD coffee will reach $3.1 billion by 2022 with 7.5% CAGR. Coffee is a global staple, which continues to evolve.

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