Alex Beckett
Global Food & Drink Analyst, Alex is responsible for tracking consumer and innovation trends in a wide range of categories including ice cream and bottled water.

French consumers are keen to try chilled coffee, yet existing usage is minimal. In 2017, only 3% of adults said they had bought such formats in France, which is low, but reflective of Europe as a whole, where cold coffee remains relatively unestablished compared with the US and South Asia. Indeed, the cold brew phenomenon is yet to properly take off in Europe. However, around one third of French coffee drinkers are keen to try such cold formats, rising to almost half of 16-24s, proving that despite a low existing presence, chilled coffee has potential.

Focus on indulgence

More than in any other major country in Europe, coffee benefits from a treat status in France according to Mintel research. There is a potential opportunity for coffee companies to use the association between treating and coffee to expand usage of chilled and iced coffee in France. To make chilled coffee more of an enticing prospect for French consumers, manufacturers can embrace the interest they have in recipes that offer an indulgent appeal. In particular, coffee drinkers aged between 16-24 in France are significantly more likely than older age groups to enjoy the taste of milky coffee, and also to prefer coffee with added flavouring, for instance spiced or sweet-flavoured.

Celebrating dairy, in all its guises, can give ready-to-drink coffees a gourmet, Gallic charm

Dairy has a rich and celebrated history in French cuisine, which ready to drink (RTD) coffee brands can tap into to amplify their attractiveness. Taking inspiration from RTD coffee launches in other countries, French brands could use a particular kind of cream flavour, like chantilly, to deliver a gourmet and particularly French appeal. The butter coffee trend is yet to properly take hold in France, but it can potentially resonate considering local enthusiasm for innovative new uses for butter.

Finally, if French brands are to use milk in RTD chilled coffee drinks, they are encouraged to celebrate its provenance, considering that the majority of French adults believe milk packaging should have more information about where the milk came from.

Examples from around the world:

Yukijirushi Megmilk Noko Milk Shitate Latte: This latte drink flags up the 3.8% milk fat content to suggest a creamy, indulgent appeal.
Namyang French Cafe Roastery Choux Cream Latte: Using a flavour inspired by a specific cream can appeal to French consumers’ interest in dairy-rich coffees.
Picnik Dirty Chai Butter Coffee: Butter coffee continues to gain profile in developed ‘Third Wave’ coffee markets like the US and Australia.

Alex Beckett is a Global Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel. Prior to that he spent nearly three years writing UK-based consumer reports on a wide variety of food and drink categories. Prior to joining Mintel, Alex was Food and Drink Editor of highly-regarded food industry magazine, The Grocer.