WMF UK Coffee Machines Blog

The rise of ready-to-drink coffee

09-Oct-2019 09:45:14 by WMF Marketing Team

Something that is becoming more and more common in coffee shops, as well as supermarkets and service stations, is the sale of ready-to-drink coffees alongside (or sometimes instead of) hot coffee. A ready-to-drink coffee is a cold drink that comes pre made in a can or a bottle, and is a great quick take away option for lunches. A few years back this was a relatively small market but over the last few years the choices have rapidly expanded, with some of the biggest players in the coffee game now getting involved.


Coffee shop brands  

As the biggest coffee brand in the world, it’s no surprise that Starbucks have long been one of the front runners in this space. With their patented Frappuccino drinks and the very popular DoubleShot cans, Starbucks have set themselves apart from the competition early. However, since being bought by Coca-Cola, the UK’s own Costa Coffee are hot at their heels to take a chunk of this newer market. Having recently launched a range of canned coffee drinks, Costa have quickly made their mark on the ready-to-drink space, and are already seeing some of the benefits of working with the biggest beverage company on the planet.

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Other big brands

As well as Starbucks, the other big brand to make an early impact on this market was Nescafe, who have released multiple different cold coffee products around the world. The main ones you’re likely to see in the UK are the Nescafe Azera nitro cans, which are the instant coffee giants attempt to take on the speciality nitro cold brew companies. Other big brands have also been releasing new cold coffee products over the last year or 2, such as the dairy free Alpro coffee drinks, and the Bailey’s iced lattes.

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Cold coffee specialists

Of course, the biggest innovators in this space are the people who make cold, ready-to-drink coffee drinks their sole business. These are the companies who have been pioneering things like nitro cold brew and dairy free canned coffee drinks in recent years, without the backing of mega companies like Starbucks and Nescafe. Some of the common brands you may see in the supermarkets are Jimmy’s, Minor Figures and Califa Farms. These brands all seem to be growing in popularity and it may be that in years to come the ready-to-drink coffee market is dominated by specialist businesses rather than coffee brands from other areas.

califia-cold-brew-coffees    products

For coffee shop businesses today, offering chilled ready-to-drink coffee to take away can be a great add on to your existing hot drink offering. Making sure you get the traditional coffees absolutely nailed is still priority number one though. Thankfully you can rely on WMF to provide you with a coffee machine that gives you amazing quality every time without the need for trained baristas. Our WMF 9000 S+ machine provides top of the range performance and reliability, with our Dynamic Coffee Assist technology ensuring the settings are automatically adjusted to produce perfect drinks every time. Download a brochure to see our full range.


Topics: Cold Brew, Cold Coffee, Coffee Shop, RTD coffee, Ready to drink coffee

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Written by WMF Marketing Team

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