Ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee products continue to grow by double digits with line extensions from Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and others, according to Platt of Nouria Energy.

“Younger consumers are driving this category with a willingness to try new products,” says Vierhile. A lot of these products are very high in caffeine, he says, but the more natural halo around RTD coffee may help it steal sales from energy drinks.

Despite RTD coffee’s rapid rise and the phenomenal success of cold-brew coffee, it still has a long way to go to catch up with RTD tea, whose per-capita consumption is about 10 times higher, says Vierhile.

RTD coffee does well at Rotten Robbie stores and is merchandised next to healthy beverages such as kombucha. The chain carries Peet’s, Starbucks, Stumptown and Stok. The latter runs about $1 less than the other varieties, “so I think we can get some new customers who wouldn’t normally pay $4 for a coffee,” says Moran.


6.9%: Sales growth of RTD coffee/tea in c-stores, vs. 4.75% in all retail channels combined, according to IRI