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Offering private label cold brew coffee: What to consider

In the coffee industry, collaboration can play a pivotal role in meeting consumer demands and scaling a business. While many coffee roasters can oversee all aspects of their in-house operations, others may choose to leverage the help and expertise of private labellers—and for good reason.

A private label partner can help take the weight off behind the scenes. By venturing into private label cold brew, brands can partner with an established supplier to produce exceptional cold brew under their own label. 

Partnering with a company that offers private label cold brew coffee has other benefits. For example, it can help brands align products with consumers trends and demand. This is particularly important because the global cold brew coffee market is projected to reach $135 billion by 2025. 

To better understand the private label cold brew coffee market, I spoke to John Gluhak, vice president of sales and marketing at Endicott Coffee Roasters

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What is private label cold brew coffee?

Essentially, a private label or white label cold brew coffee is produced by a private roasting house and packaged to a brand’s specifications. It is sold by the brand through its distribution channels. Partnering with a private label cold brew company can help a brand outsource a variety of complicated processes. 

This may include sourcing coffee beans from global origins, determining roast levels and brewing methods, and exploring any added flavour additives. It also stretches to making final decisions on packaging design and outer labelling.

Notably, in the broader hospitality industry, outsourcing private label products has become common. Plus, it’s not only coffee roasters reaching out for a helping hand with production tasks. 

Several businesses with existing client bases want a slice of cold brew coffee profits. Investing in private label allows them to offer unique, consistent cold brews to meet the skyrocketing demand quickly. All this, without the need for expensive manufacturing facilities or extensive resources or knowledge for product development. 

What are the benefits of offering private label cold brew?

Offering private label cold brew coffee, or private label coffee for that matter, has many advantages and disadvantages. In fact, it should be treated as an entirely new business venture. 

Regardless, private label cold brew can increase revenue streams while helping to save costs. Additionally, it can lead to more partnership opportunities within the industry and possibly beyond. Diversifying revenue can reduce dependency on just one or two product lines or income streams. Beyond this, it can mitigate risk during fluctuating seasons of consumer demand. 

To help stabilise demand, those offering private label cold brew can implement a minimum order quantity (MOQ). This can also help guarantee a specific sales volume at more consistent intervals. 

Another advantage of offering private label services is the ability to use the existing infrastructure and workforce to maximise profits without another major capital investment. A guaranteed minimum order quantity, along with an existing volume of production, may also result in lower costs per unit. 

Having the unique opportunity to collaborate with other businesses can lead to invaluable partnerships that open doors to new opportunities in the future. 

Offering private label cold brew or other private label coffee services provides a new level of flexibility and adaptability to changing market trends and consumer preferences. It’s this flexibility and industry knowledge that can help brands stay competitive in the dynamic landscape of the coffee industry. 

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Understanding the disadvantages of offering private label cold brew 

While private labels offer a plethora of benefits for business growth, it is important to consider potential drawbacks. For example, the more bespoke the product, or the more it’s altered, could mislead or confuse customers, leaving businesses with a product they can’t sell.

More so, if a major client discontinues their own product or reduces order quantity, it may have a significant impact on the brand offering private label services. Coffee roasters may also encounter awkward and unpleasant conflicts of interest if they choose to private label for clients who are direct competitors in the market. This can create tension and strain relationships within the industry.

All-in-all, offering private labels has many advantages and disadvantages. It’s highly recommended that curious parties take a deep dive into their own business endeavours and decide whether offering private label services is right for them. 

John says that when considering private label cold brew some important factors include “what the best coffee or roast profiles are. They need to hold consistent flavour during the brewing process and over time as once it’s stored in packaging.” 

Additionally, he advises brands to “decide on the right strength of the product, in cold brew language, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and filtration level that will work across your customer channels.”

“Distribution chain and storage is key in deciding packaging and process,” John adds. “Will your product be cold chain or will you use a process that creates shelf stable products? And, how will those processes affect your flavour? The production minimums must be within the attainable sales volume over the shelf life of the product.” 

The private label cold brew sector comes with advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it’s essential for brands to determine which avenue is best before making a commitment. Market trends are shaping to make 2024 an exhilarating year for cold brew and ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee. Driven by younger consumers looking for health-conscious alternatives to sugary beverages, the cold brew coffee market is emerging as a place of experimentation, discovery, and craftsmanship.

Collaborations can elevate brand recognition, solidify customer loyalty, and propel sales. The right partnership can increase brand visibility, reach a wider audience, and create a unique offering that customers find attractive. 

At Cold Brew Pak, we offer sustainable cold brew packaging that is both affordable and fully customisable. We can create bespoke cold brew coffee packaging for your unique collaborations while ensuring the carbon footprint of your business remains low. Cold Brew Pak offers complete cold brew coffee packaging solutions to suit your budget and business needs. 

Talk to our team to find out more. 

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About the author

Holly Szakal is a Melbourne-based copy and content writer and is deeply immersed in her city's vibrant specialty coffee culture. She infuses the rich aromas of the specialty coffee scene by delivering compelling narratives on the industry's current events.