- Heartland Food Products Group is launching JAVA HOUSE Authentic Cold Brew Coffee pods this summer, according to a company announcement.
- The dual-use liquid pods allow consumers to enjoy cold brew coffee served hot or cold. They can be prepared hot in a K-cup machine or diluted over 8 ounces of water to serve chilled with the full-bodied, smooth flavor of cold brew.
- JAVA HOUSE Authentic Cold Brew Coffee Pods are available in four varieties: Colombian, Ethiopian, Sumatran and Decaf. They will be available in 3-packs, 6-packs and 12-packs with suggested retail at $4.99, $8.99 and $15.99, respectively.
Cold brew is strongly trending among American coffee drinkers with the segment ballooning 580% between 2011 and 2016, according to Mintel. While more than one in five Generation Z and millennial coffee drinkers are interested in roasts specially made for cold brew coffee at home, the majority of the market is ready-to-drink varieties oriented toward customers who need convenient, on-the-go options.
According to a survey from the National Coffee Association cited by Reuters, coffee consumption is at its highest levels since 2012. More Americans than ever are enjoying a cup of joe from the comfort of their own homes. Reuters revealed drinking coffee at home is the preferred way to consume the beverage, with 79% of those surveyed saying they had some this way the previous day. Of those brewing, 41% own a single-cup machine.
With the convenience factor strongly driving the rise of cold brew and at-home coffee consumption, it’s no wonder Heartland Food Products Group moved into the space. They skipped the segmented RTD market in favor of at-home coffee consumers — who have fewer options but for whom demand is increasing.
The impressive growth in the cold brew sector may be somewhat bitter. Those purchasing cold brew, especially the RTD variety, are doing so inconsistently. According to Mintel, consumers are likely to enjoy one-time or spontaneous trial of cold brew by different roasters and manufacturers rather than developing brand loyalty.
For those who drink cold brew regularly, a single-use pod may not meet their standards for what a cup of cold brew should be. Since cold brew is prepared in lukewarm water, the process takes about 12 hours before the smooth, full-bodied brew is ready to be consumed. Adding a concentrate to water may defeat the purpose.
Nevertheless, the convenience of being able to whip up a cup of cold brew without having to prepare a batch for 12 hours could persuade cold brew drinkers to at least test these pods out. However, hot brewed and cold brewed coffee have different flavor profiles, so it remains to be seen how consumers will respond to using the same K-cup for both.
As more iterations of cold brew come into the market, Heartland will need to find success by providing quality and affordability alongside convenience to their customers. As a starting point, the hot months of summertime is an opportune time to test the waters.