Premium coffee roaster and retailer Peet’s Coffee & Tea is the newest entrant in the ready-to-drink cold brew coffee wars.
The company announced its first move into the RTD iced coffee segment Monday, revealing a 3-SKU line of cold brewed coffees currently rolling into 400 Peet’s cafes and grocery stores in the San Francisco Bay area. The new beverages – available in Baridi Black Cold Brew, Coffee au Lait Cold Brew and Dark Chocolate Cold Brew – will retail for $3.99.
The introduction of Peet’s in an RTD format comes a year after the company replaced its traditional iced coffee offerings with cold brew at its coffeehouses, a move that nearly doubled the size of Peet’s iced coffee business, according to Jessica Mitchell, Peet’s senior director of innovation.
“We had such a great response from our consumers and as we saw that success in the marketplace we ultimately started working towards how we might bottle it and extend that success beyond our brewing locations,” Mitchell told BevNET.
Eric Lauterbach, president of Peet’s consumer division, said the company will bring the cold-brewed coffees to stores using refrigerated DSD distribution, building upon the company’s existing DSD network that brings Peet’s bagged coffee to more than 15,000 stores nationwide.
“We’re putting them into natural food stores, specialty grocers, and also conventional grocers,” said Lauterbach, who named Whole Foods, Mollie Stone’s, Lucky’s and Safeway as initial retail partners.
In October of 2015, Peet’s acquired Stumptown Coffee Roasters, a leading player in the ready-to-drink cold brew coffee segment. Weeks later Peet’s announced the purchase of a majority stake in specialty coffee roaster Intelligentsia. The three companies continue to operate independently.
Last month, Caribou Coffee, which like Peets is owned by German holding company JAB, announced its move into the fast-growing RTD coffee category with its own 3-SKU line.
The company’s press release can be found below:
EMERYVILLE, California—July 25, 2016—Peet’s Coffee® is thrilled to unveil its new ready-to-drink (RTD) line with Baridi Black, Coffee au Lait, and Dark Chocolate. The new line features high-quality ingredients, including Peet’s freshly-roasted beans that are cold brewed to the same standard used in its cafés. Peet’s Cold Brew will ship starting today and will soon be available in select Peet’s Coffee cafés, grocery stores, and partner locations in the San Francisco Bay Area before expanding into new markets.
“We’re proud to launch our ready-to-drink line during our 50th anniversary year as these new Cold Brew beverages build on the heritage of Peet’s Coffee and our five decades of coffee craftsmanship,” said Dave Burwick, Peet’s Coffee CEO. “Coffee consumers are increasingly sophisticated and by leveraging the equity we have in coffee, we’re introducing beverages that will delight not just our existing fan base of Peetniks, but all coffee lovers.”
Peet’s Cold Brew Now Good to Go Anywhere
The new RTD Cold Brew, with a suggested retail price of $3.99, comes in three delicious offerings:
- Baridi Black Cold Brew—the purest expression of Cold Brew from Peet’s Coffee, served straight up in a 12oz glass bottle.
- Coffee au Lait Cold Brew—a coffee-forward pairing of Baridi Black with the freshest rBST-free milk and pure cane sugar, in a 10oz carton.
- Dark Chocolate Cold Brew—Baridi Black made even more irresistible with the freshest rBST-free milk and rich Guittard cocoa, in a 10oz carton.
In keeping with the company’s reputation for expertly crafted coffee, the base for the new Cold Brew RTD line starts with the proprietary East African Baridi Blend, sourced from smallholder farms, and specially selected for its bright, juicy, and aromatic profile. Each batch is hand roasted by Peet’s highly trained, artisans and is then slow brewed without heat for a smooth, refreshingly bold coffee.
To uphold the strict standards Peet’s has for quality, flavor and freshness, each recipe is perfected with carefully sourced ingredients, including real cane sugar, rBST-free milk, and rich cocoa from Guittard Chocolate Company—a family-owned Bay Area chocolatier for more than five generations. There are no artificial ingredients, colors or preservatives, and no carrageenan. Peet’s is providing Direct Store Delivery (DSD) of RTD Cold Brew beverages in its own refrigerated trucks to ensure product makes it to shelves as quickly as possible and under the best conditions, so every bottle and carton is as fresh and flavorful as possible.
Peet’s Coffee Meets Growing Demand for Cold Brew
Given the overwhelmingly positive response to the Cold Brew Peet’s launched in its cafés during the summer of 2015, this year’s newly launched RTD line was a natural progression to meeting customer demand for a grab-and-go option. This move also taps current trends, such as the 2015 Mintel Coffee Report which notes that Cold Brew is an industry-wide sensation, growing 338.9% from 2010-2015, with 115% of that growth from 2014 to 2015 alone. The trend is predicted to continue accelerating: as cited by Beverage Marketing Corporation in 2015, Cold Brew is projected to lead the high growth “New Age Beverage” category, outpacing kombucha, coconut water, energy drinks and juice.
“Ready to drink is yet another example of our commitment to innovate. Last year we fully transformed our iced coffee program by shifting from a hot brew that was chilled over ice to a Cold Brew that was slow brewed,” said Jessica Mitchell, Senior Director of Innovation, Peet’s Coffee. “This shift drove double-digit growth for our cold coffee business in our cafés, and was among the highest performing product lines in our entire portfolio. We are excited to continue fueling growth by enhancing our offerings with ready-to-drink Cold Brew.”
Baridi Black, Coffee Au Lait, and Dark Chocolate are examples of the many initiatives underway at Peet’s during its 50th Anniversary, all with the design to solidify Peet’s as a leading specialty coffee brand.
About Peet’s Coffee:
Peet’s Coffee® is a U.S. specialty coffee company founded by Alfred Peet in 1966 in Berkeley, California. Mr. Peet grew up in the coffee trade and moved to America from Holland after World War II. His coffee style was unlike anything Americans had ever tasted before—small batches, fresh beans and a superior quality roast that is rich and complex. Mr. Peet’s influence on the artisan coffee movement inspired a new generation of coffee entrepreneurs, including the founders of Starbucks. Today, Peet’s upholds its commitment to delivering a premium product by continuing to source the world’s best beans, hand-roast in small batches, and craft every beverage by hand. Peet’s asserts a strict standard of freshness to ensure optimum flavor, including a unique direct store delivery network serving over 14,000 grocery stores to personally vet the freshness date on every bag. Peet’s is dedicated to growing its business through its retail, grocery and e-commerce channels while maintaining the superior quality of its coffee. Peet’s is also proud of its status as the first LEED® Gold certified roastery in the United States. For more information, visit www.peets.com. Stay connected to Peet’s: @peetscoffee on Twitter and Instagram and facebook.com/peets.