cold brew pouches, cold brew coffee pouches, cold brew, cold brew coffee, cold brew packaging, cold brew coffee packaging, cold brew concentrates, cold brew coffee concentrates, coffee concentrates, pouches for coffee concentrates, pouches for cold brew concentrates, packaging for coffee concentrates, packaging for cold brew concentrates,

Why cold brew pouches are ideal for concentrates

Cold brew and all its iterations are experiencing an all-time high in sales. According to the National Coffee Association‘s 2023 National Coffee Data Trends report, the popularity of cold brew has increased by 300% since 2016, with a 45% increase since January 2023. Beyond this, more people are making and drinking the beverage brew at home. 

Much of cold brews’ sensory properties come from its preparation. Therefore, those making it at home may struggle to replicate the extraction time, temperature, dosage, turbulence, water composition, and grind involved in making a consistent cold brew coffee. Making the beverage requires time and patience, which is why many consumers are turning to concentrates packaged in cold brew pouches. 

I spoke to Ennio Cantergiani, a Swiss Food Scientist about the popularity of coffee concentrates and how cold brew pouches may be the ideal packaging solution. 

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

What is cold brew concentrate and why sell it? 

Essentially, cold brew is a method of brewing coffee that involves steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period of time, typically around 12 to 24 hours. This slow and cold extraction process produces a coffee concentrate that is less acidic and smoother in flavour compared to traditional hot-brewed coffee. Once the coffee is strained, roasters and coffee shops can serve the cold brew right away, or package it accordingly. 

Cold brew coffee concentrate is made in much the same way as cold brew: by immersing coarse ground coffee beans in cold water. However, the ratio of coffee to water is much higher for cold-brew concentrate. More coffee is used than in a standard cold brew to increase the strength. As cold brew concentrates must be diluted to an appropriate drinking strength, they’re particularly useful in high-volume locations, such as cafés. 

Ennio explains that cold brew concentrates are made with the same coffees and roast profiles as standard cold brew. “Concentrate, however, differs in both texture and acidity, as it’s thicker, and has a lower pH,” which gives it a longer shelf life. 

Experts believe that homemade cold brew should be kept for no more than a week. Cold brew made in a commercial setting, however, may last several weeks, depending on its packaging and additives. For instance, canned, ready-to-drink (RTD) cold brew coffee is often considered the safest drinking option.

It’s fairly easy to tell when cold brew is no longer fit for consumption as it can develop an unpleasant odour, visible cloudiness, or mould spots. So why sell cold brew concentrate if RTD cold brew coffee exists? 

Ennio, who is also an Authorised SCA Trainer, explains that concentrates are designed so that the total dissolved solids range never exceeds 1.5 to 2.0%, for a more pleasant drinking experience. Concentrates can also be used neat in cocktail recipes and, when traditional filtering equipment and beans aren’t available, added to hot water to enjoy filter coffee on demand. 

What’s needed to package cold brew concentrates? 

As coffee concentrates are often used over extended periods, they must be packaged in resealable formats. This packaging must also be impermeable to oxygen and moisture, elements that increase oxidation and can lead to the concentrate developing off-flavours. 

Typical cold brew packaging includes cans, but as these aren’t resealable they’re unsuitable for concentrates. Alternatively, glass bottles can be a more suitable choice but don’t allow for as much customisation. Glass packaging is also heavier and costlier, which impacts their shipping suitability and increases costs. 

Ennio believes that cold brew pouches are a better option, particularly for price, ease of handling, and the volume sizes available. “Pouches could be more convenient to offer samples, and for customers to handle and dilute. The cost of flexible, spouted pouches versus glass or cans can also be an argument. Overall, pouches are very convenient for cold brew concentrates.”

Cold brew pouches would be a suitable substitute for brands that want to ship products while keeping operating costs low, as they can be sold online and in retail outlets. However, Ennio cautions that pouches have a lower shelf life than other packaging options and that this should be considered when selecting them. 

cold brew pouches, cold brew coffee pouches, cold brew, cold brew coffee, cold brew packaging, cold brew coffee packaging, cold brew concentrates, cold brew coffee concentrates, coffee concentrates, pouches for coffee concentrates, pouches for cold brew concentrates, packaging for coffee concentrates, packaging for cold brew concentrates,

Factors to consider when packaging concentrates in cold brew pouches

To overcome the challenges surrounding packaging cold brew concentrate, companies should keep a few things in mind. First, pure cold brew concentrate that is free from additives will face the biggest challenge when it comes to shelf life. Many brands choose to add flavouring and preservatives, which help to extend the product’s shelf life. 

Therefore, brands must research the current and desired customer base and consumption patterns. Knowing how much concentrate a customer consumes over a certain period can help brands select a pouch packaging volume that will preserve the concentrate’s qualities long enough for it to be finished. 

Offering customers a cold brew concentrate subscription can help ensure they never run out or have to remember to buy more while securing future sales. This can also allow for letterbox delivery, as smaller pouches can often fit through many standard letterbox holes in homes. Beyond this, brands have the added advantage of not requiring the customer to be present and at home to accept the delivery. 

It’s important to educate customers on how to use their concentration and what they can expect. This will allow them to determine exactly how much they need for the type of drinks they plan to make and consume, so they never end up with stale concentrate they can’t use and must throw away — possibly putting them off buying more.

Businesses that use protective, safe, and long-lasting packaging for cold brew concentrates will remain a distinguishing factor for customers. While environmental stability was a significant concern for 67% of US customers in a recent packaging survey, at least 77% were more concerned about shelf life and food safety. Brands must choose cold brew packaging that will protect the concentrate from premature spoiling, flavour degradation, and potential damage during transportation. 

Choosing the most compatible cold-brew coffee packaging for your business shouldn’t be an either-or situation. We offer a variety of cold-brew packaging solutions that satisfy both food safety standards and eco-friendly compliance. Cold Brew Pak offers convenient alternatives to bottles and cans, such as single-serve sachets and bag-in-box, to better address your customers’ unique needs. All of our packaging is sustainable sourced and crafted with biodegradable and compostable materials certified by DIN CERTCO.

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

Janice is freelance writer based in South Africa and has written for MTPak Coffee since 2020. Her interests are in writing about sustainability, the circular economy, and the future of the environment.