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Why are cold brew coffee cans so popular?

Research shows that the value of the global ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee market is expected to exceed $40 billion by 2027. Notably, data reveals cold brew coffee options are driving a significant portion of this growth. As demand for high-quality RTD beverages grows, cans of cold brew coffee have become a popular choice for consumers seeking convenience. 

A recent report from Mintel states that 32% of US coffee drinkers aged 18 to 24 had consumed RTD coffee, such as canned cold brew, in the past month. The lightweight and durable nature of aluminium cold brew coffee cans makes them an ideal companion for commuters, travellers, and outdoor enthusiasts. 

Additionally, cans are sealed and airtight, preserving the freshness and flavour of the cold brew inside. Clearly, cold brew coffee cans provide several practical advantages that cater to the demands of today’s fast-paced society. Is this the reason they’ve become one of the most popular cold brew packaging formats? 

To gain more insight, I spoke with Deirdra Schroeder, the co-founder and CEO of GoodBrew, and Ramzi Marji, the founder and managing director of Coffee Cherry Beverage Company LLC

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Why cold brew cans are popular

Aluminium cans are often unmatched in their convenience and practicality. Brands benefit from cold brew coffee cans both creatively and economically. For example, aluminium cans allow for branding with rich, bold colours, allowing brands to create eye-catching designs with minimal working parts. 

Beyond this, aluminium is a more cost-effective material, particularly with the rising costs of paper and pulp. Aluminium is also an infinitely recyclable material, with roughly 75% of all aluminium ever produced still being used to make products today. Being ‘infinitely recyclable’ means aluminium cans can be reused several times without losing quality.

Additionally, cold brew cans are light and durable, helping to ensure safe handling while reducing shipping and transportation costs. They also provide a sealed and airtight environment that preserves the freshness and flavour of the cold brew, delivering a consistently satisfying experience with every sip.

GoodBrew is a Dublin-based startup that offers plant-based, all-natural RTD cold brew coffees. Deirdra, affectionately known as Dee, explains why the brand chose to package its cold brew lattes and mochas in cans.

“Canned cold brew is really gaining in popularity for a number of reasons. [A main reason] is the convenience factor and taste experience that cans provide,” she says. “Aluminium cans keep our functional cold brew drinks cold for longer and preserve the smooth and sweet flavours of premium cold brew coffee. Of course, sustainability is key too.

“Consumers are more and more aware of the drawbacks of plastic and so [they tend to] prefer cans,” she continues. “We recently transitioned from a plastic-bottled chilled range to an innovative new range of cold brew infused with gut-boosting prebiotic fibre and immune-boosting vitamins. We find cans are the perfect packaging to protect and preserve our product while being convenient and sustainable for the consumer. All the feedback suggests our customers are loving them too.”

Ramzi Marji is the founder and managing director of Coffee Cherry Beverage Company LLC, the first Nitro Cold Brew factory in Jordan and the third in the Middle East. He explains that he could keep up with demand by switching from bottles to cans for Andrew’s Cold Brew. 

He adds that the brand was able to “reach 12 months of shelf life by using the nitro dosing/infusing method, combined with cans.”

How to ensure your cold brew cans stand out

In a market continuously inundated with options, it’s vital that brands ensure packaging captures consumers’ attention. Notably, almost every inch of an aluminium can is customisable, which can help brands elevate their image and mindshare. Design elements such as detailed logos and vibrant colours are easily displayed on aluminium cans.

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.

Brands should consider vibrant labels, intricate etching, or direct digital printing to help create a memorable and distinctive presence on the shelf. 

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What to consider when investing in cold brew coffee cans

Ramzi shares his thoughts on why the cold brew craze is booming: “I believe that the RTD beverage market has been booming for the past decade, considering the fast-paced lifestyle of the past few generations. Coffee consumers are on the lookout for something to ‘Grab and Go’ and cold brew has become the solution since it is sugar-free, smooth, and gives a proper kick-off caffeine dose.”

Brands wanting to invest in cold brew coffee cans must consider a variety of factors to ensure a successful outcome. More importantly, they must choose packaging that will protect the product from premature spoiling, flavour degradation, and potential damage during transportation.

Coffee businesses must also account for the unique customer preferences of each industry. For example, bars may prefer the larger quantity of bag-in-box to satisfy high-volume periods. Beyond this, the quick on-tap dispenser also makes it easy for bartenders to create in-demand coffee cocktails quickly.

That said, as with many aspects of cold brew production, there is currently no single answer to the question of how best to formulate, sterilise, and package the product. The most important aspect of developing the product is to research the needs and expectations of the target demographic. 

However, 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 cold brew coffee cans are designed to accommodate a variety of cold beverages and diverse drinking occasions. Lightweight and robust, they 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. 

Images courtesy of GoodBrew and Coffee Cherry Beverage Company LLC / Andrew’s Cold Brew 

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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.