10 RTD Coffee Drinks Coming to C-Stores

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

NACS Show sign

CHICAGO -- Ready-to-drink coffee was the "it" beverage category during the 2017 NACS Show in Chicago last month. With volume sales growing by double digits (up 11.5% for the 52 weeks ending Nov. 4, 2017, according to Nielsen scan data), marketers are anxious to get their brews on store shelves.

Here's a look at 10 products that caught our eye during the NACS Show ...

1. Bowery Cold Brew

Bowery Cold Brew will begin to make its way into convenience stores via a deal with Icelandic Glacial bottled water that will bundle the two drinks, plus KOE Kombucha, into distribution, as well as marketing deals through Golden West Food Group Inc. Bowery Cold Brew is available in 10.5-ounce bottles in Original, Tahitian Vanilla, Cacao, Toasted Caramel and Dirty Chai, or in 8-ounce slim cans in Original, Original + Milk, Tahitian Vanilla, Mocha and Toasted Caramel.

2. Cafe Agave

Cafe Agave is a spiked cold brew available in four flavors: Espresso Shot, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Cinnamon and Cafe Mocha. The drinks are wine-based, 10% alcohol and come in 187-mL cans.

3. Califia

After building its presence and reputation in the natural grocery channel, Califia Farms sees single-serve packaging and convenience stores as the next frontier for its cold-brew coffees. The newest addition to the coffee lineup is Nitro Cold Brew New Orleans flavor, available in 10.5-ounce aluminum bottles.

The company also recently cheered about reducing the amount of sugar in its drinks. Nearly half of its SKUs today are unsweetened or have no added sugar, the company said, having reduced the sugar content across its product portfolio by 40% since 2015.

4. Hey Day

Hey Day is a line of RTD cold-brew coffees packaged in 11-ounce cans. The drinks are available in four flavors: Original, Vanilla, Chocolate and Espresso.

5. High Brew

High Brew Cold-Brew Coffee highlighted the reformulation of its three core SKUs. The company removed stevia as sweetener in favor of natural cane sugar. The resulting new formula is still 90 calories per 8-ounce can for its Mexican Vanilla, Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Mocha drinks. High Brew is one of Dr Pepper Snapple Group's allied brands.

6. La Colombe

La Colombe Cold Brew added three flavors to its line of 9-ounce slim cans: Pure Black & White, Coconut Vegan Latte and Mocha. All three are on store shelves now.

7. Main St. Cafe

Gehl Foods, maker of snacks, sauces and creamers, enters the RTD coffee category with the launch of Main St. Cafe. The drinks come in 11-ounce bottles in three flavors: Black, Mocha and Salted Caramel.

8. McCafe/Dunkin Donuts

Coca-Cola Co. is making aggressive moves into the RTD coffee market with the launch of McCafe Frappes in three flavors—Vanilla, Mocha and Caramel—and an extension of its less-than-a-year-old Dunkin Donut Iced Coffee with a Cookies & Cream flavor and the new Shot in the Dark, an espresso blend packaged in 8.4-ounce slim cans.

9. Starbucks Frappuccino

Starbucks is adding two flavors to its Frappuccino line made with almond milk. Almondmilk Mocha and Vanilla will launch through PepsiCo in April 2018. Also coming from Starbucks in April, Double Shot Energy Vanilla Honey Banana and Dark Chocolate Banana made with almond milk.

10. Stok

DanoneWave added its first line extension to its popular Stok Cold Brew. Black Un-Sweet will hit shelves in early 2018.