cold brew, cold brew coffee, cold brew coffee cans, sustainable cold brew packaging, sustainable cold brew coffee packaging, custom cold brew coffee cans, cans for cold brew, custom cans for cold brew

Are cold brew coffee cans sustainable? 

Ready to drink (RTD) and cold brew coffee are the fastest-growing food and beverage sectors in the world. Research shows the consumption of cold brew increased by 40% over the last five years, and sales of iced drinks in 2018 came close to £400 million in the UK alone.

Cold brews, iced coffees, and RTD beverages are swiftly becoming one of the most popular ways to consume coffee, and this meteoric growth shows no signs of slowing down. A recent report from Mintel stated that 32% of US coffee drinkers aged 18 to 24 had consumed RTD coffee, such as canned cold brew, in the past month. 

Cold brew coffee cans offer consumers convenience while allowing brands to showcase their personality. But, are they the most sustainable packaging option? And what should brands consider when customising cold brew coffee cans?

To learn more, I spoke with several professionals within the industry. 

Subscribe to our newsletter

The importance of sustainable cold brew packaging

A recent survey found that 55% of consumers express a desire for businesses to maintain sustainable packaging as a priority heading into 2024. Alan Gilbody, the founder and director of London-based Slice Design, agrees that there is a huge drive towards sustainability and customisation. Slice Design works alongside coffee businesses to understand their target market and cater to their design needs.

“This is particularly evident for younger consumers who want to feel that the product is made especially for them and with their needs in mind,” he says. “Younger consumers, particularly Generation Z, are demanding sustainable, biodegradable, and compostable options for packaging formats. 

“While that may be a trade-off with shelf life, this move best resonates with their values. The brands that will do well are those that best represent the values of the younger generation,” Alan adds. 

Conversely, 42% of respondents in the same Macfarlane Unboxing survey believe sustainability should not incur additional costs. Therefore, when it comes to cold-brew coffee packaging, brands must strike a delicate equilibrium between sustainability and financial considerations, particularly amid prevailing inflation and economic volatility.

Why cans for cold brew are a common packaging option

Aluminium cans for cold brew help strike that balance. The beverage industry highly favours tin cans for not only their aesthetic value but also their convenience. 

Brandon Martin, the head brewer at Big Watt Beverage Co., told MTPak Coffee that within the brewing industry, “the equipment needed to package cold brew becomes more versatile if you go with cans as opposed to plastic or glass bottles. Another silver lining is that cans made from aluminium are infinitely recyclable,” he says, making them a sustainable option for several businesses. 

Being ‘infinitely recyclable’ means aluminium cans can be reused several times without losing quality. Aluminium cans for cold brew coffee are lightweight and convenient, which appeals to manufacturers, distributors, and consumers. Beyond that, cans are highly effective at preserving the freshness and flavour of cold brew coffee, while doubling its shelf life. 

More so, every inch of aluminium cans is customisable, which can help brands elevate their image and mindshare. Logos and branded elements are easily displayed on aluminium cans, and can accurately reflect bright colours and high detail.

Aluminium cans for cold brew allow for brands to print designs directly onto the packaging material. Therefore, the design will need to go across the entire packaging, rather than just a rectangular label. As a result, the design will need to include various different visual elements, such as typography, illustrations, and logos. It must also convey the coffee’s origins, tasting notes, serving recommendations, and a best before date.

cold brew, cold brew coffee, cold brew coffee cans, sustainable cold brew packaging, sustainable cold brew coffee packaging, custom cold brew coffee cans, cans for cold brew, custom cans for cold brew

Are cold brew coffee cans sustainable? 

A custom print cold brew coffee can made entirely out of aluminium is considered sustainable, as it can be recycled. That said, the entire can must be made from a single material, including the lid. 

Several cold brew coffee brands have introduced cans that feature plastic pull-back lids that also act as a carrier. These six-pack rings or six-pack yokes are sets of connected plastic rings or lids that are used in multi-pack beverages, particularly cans. 

“Most businesses use plastics, some of which may not be recyclable,” Brandon explains. That said, innovations mean plastic rings may soon be a thing of the past. These accessories are becoming more sustainable as they’re made from materials like cardboard and leftover barley straw. 

Part of the objectives outlined in the 2022 International Coffee Agreement involved the development of a sustainable coffee economy in environmental terms. As the coffee industry has a significant carbon footprint, it is now up to each stakeholder to do their part to reduce it. 

Every stage of the coffee supply chain, from the farm to consumption, releases carbon emissions into the atmosphere. For example, a single shot of espresso has a carbon footprint of nearly 0.3 kg, according to an analysis by the University College London (UCL). Throw in flavourings and other additions and the figure rises to between 0.4 and 0.5 kg per cup.

As cold brew is an evolving industry, actions must be taken to reduce the emissions and other environmental threats it poses. For example, one step is to invest in sustainable cold brew coffee packaging, such as infinitely recyclable aluminium cans, BPA-free bottles, and flexible pouches made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE), or polylactic acid (PLA).

At Cold Brew Pak, we understand the importance of catering to convenience. This is why we offer bespoke, ready-to-grab aluminium cans. Cans for cold brew coffee are a highly popular option because they are convenient, sustainable, and aesthetic.

Our 100% recyclable aluminium cans for cold brew coffee are designed to cater to a variety of cold beverages and diverse drinking occasions. Lightweight and robust, our cold brew coffee cans offer superior protection against light and oxygen and are infinitely recyclable.

Pair your recyclable cold brew coffee cans with our custom printed can carriers: a sustainable and convenient solution for transporting your cold brew coffee beverages. Available in 4- and 6-packs. 

Interested in the subject? Check the article below.

cold brew coffee bottles, cold brew bottles, BPA-free plastic, BPA-free plastic bottles for cold brew, BPA-free plastic bottles, bottled cold brew, bottled cold brew coffee, cold brew coffee, cold brew, cold brew coffee packaging, cold brew packaging, plastic bottles for cold brew, plastic bottles for cold brew coffee, bottles for cold brew, packaging for cold brew coffee, plastic packaging for cold brew coffee

Cold brew coffee bottles: The rise of BPA-free plastic

BPA-free plastic bottles for cold brew coffee have emerged as one of the safest forms of packaging for the RTD market.

About the author

Victoria is a highly experienced content creator, writer, and editor based out of South Africa. With the experience gained by working in newsrooms and writing for lifestyle magazines, she is now focussed on creating insightful and relatable content for the specialty coffee community.