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RTD coffee on the rise

From the May 2020 issue.

Global Coffee Report looks at the boom of the ready-to-drink coffee market, led by a growing coffee culture, health conscious consumers, and wide functionality.

Carbonated soft drinks have experienced a huge decline in popularity over the last few years as consumers become warier of sugar and artificial flavouring.

According to Euromonitor Senior Beverage Analyst Matthew Barry, this has created opportunities for other beverages to fill the void, with bottled water the beverage category that benefits most from the decline of carbonates. Barry tells Global Coffee Report that ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee is another increasingly attractive option.

“We’re seeing a lot of occasions opening up where, if someone isn’t drinking a carbonated soft drink, what are they drinking instead?” Barry asks.

“If you were drinking a soft drink for the caffeine or energy, you need to substitute it with something else. RTD coffee is succeeding in places where it can poach those occasions successfully.”

Declining popularity of carbonates is only one of many reasons that the RTD coffee market has seen a spike in popularity. Barry says the rise of café culture in many countries is the main driver of coffee in the RTD space, as it leads to a greater knowledge and appreciation of coffee and the ways it can be consumed.

“As coffee shop culture expands worldwide, RTD coffee follows in its wake, particularly as cold coffee becomes popular,” he says.

“There are also plenty of places with strong café cultures where RTD coffee isn’t taking off as well, like Italy. That’s probably because these countries don’t particularly value cold coffee. Places that do praise cold coffee, the United Kingdom for example, have a more correspondingly active RTD market.”

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