CHICAGO -- After spending a couple of years incubating at independent coffeehouses and restaurant chains, cold-brew coffee is picking up the pace at c-stores.
This summer, we noted some flavor innovation taking shape for cold brew at top coffee chains, as well as leading foodservice-forward c-stores following suit with their own take on the trend. This activity meets the needs of 22% of consumers who recently told Technomic in its 2016Beverage Consumer Trend Report that they’d be likely to purchase a cold-brew coffee if it was offered at any foodservice location. Additionally, more than one-third of young adult consumers, ages 18 to 34, say they’re more interested in cold-brew coffee than they were just two years ago, and 19% want to see more cold-brew options offered on menus, according to Technomic's 2016Bakery & Coffee Cafe Consumer Trend Report.
Here are six c-stores that have invested in the trend, as well as some new variations seen at quick-service restaurants ...
Wawa, Pa.-based Wawa has introduced cold-brew coffee, which is now available in all stores as part of Wawa’s handcrafted specialty beverage program. Available in two flavors of traditional Black or Sweet Cream and both 16-ounce and 24-ounce sizes, Wawa Cold Brew incorporates a slow-steeping process of its coffee beans to deliver a smooth, full-body flavor.
2. Rutter's Farm Stores
York, Pa.-based Rutter's Farm Stores added cold brew to the menu in mid-May 2017. Rutter’s Cold Brew Coffee is made from Rainforest Alliance Certified, 100% Arabica beans. It is fully customizable with Rutter’s dairy products and its array of syrups and sweeteners.
In addition to Starbucks' original cold-brew variety, introduced in 2015, and its nitrogen-infused cold brew, which debuted in 2016, Starbucks has introduced several other cold-brew varieties. The chain features a Sweet Cream cold brew, as well as a new line of barrel-aged cold-brew drinks, available in its upscale Reserve stores. Options include Barrel Aged Cold Brew and Cold Brew Malt.