Fuel Gen Z’s love affair with the taste of iced coffee

Fuel Gen Z’s love affair with the taste of iced coffee

March 22, 2024
3 min read

Gen Z consumers across the globe are now firmly in a romantic relationship with iced coffee. Courting Gen Z with superior taste perceptions, versatility for add-ins and the aspirational draw of foodservice options, iced coffee is hot right now.

Iced coffee brands can take this relationship to the next level through elevating taste appeal and affordable foodservice service-inspired options.

Link brew method to taste

In Thailand, 68% of Gen Z coffee consumers agree that flavour is important when choosing a coffee product, while just one-fifth agree that the brewing method is important.

Iced coffee brands have an opportunity to educate consumers on how the brew method actually influences the flavour profile of coffee to differentiate on taste.

Brands can learn from the cold brew category, as the brew method has become synonymous in product launch naming conventions. This trend has helped establish consumer familiarity with a brew method that Gen Z coffee consumers link to great taste.

In Canada, Stök Cold Brew Un-Sweet Black Coffee Beverage notes that hot brewing forces flavour from the bean, but cold brewing steeps at low temperatures for 10 hours to bring out ‘every drop of smooth, bold, one-of-a-kind STÖKness’.

Stök Cold Brew Un-Sweet Black Coffee Beverage (US); Source: Mintel GNPD

Offer iced value at home with foodservice theatrics

In the US, 37% of Gen Z coffee consumers do not own but are interested in purchasing a cold brew coffee maker, compared to 28% of all US coffee consumers.

Lower disposable incomes may hamper Gen Z’s ambitions to own cold brew coffee machines. As a more affordable option, brands can offer instant iced options inspired by foodservice.

In the US, Maxwell House has launched its Iced Latte with Foam coffee mix range, which uses ‘unique cold-stirred foam technology’ to provide ‘a thick, creamy, and flavorful coffee all without the use of a café’s specialized equipment.’

Products that replicate the taste/texture of foodservice coffee can offer consumers a treat experience, minus foodservice price points. 35% of US Gen Z coffee consumers agree that they would make coffee drinks at home instead of ordering from coffee shops/restaurants to save money if coffee prices increased.

Maxwell House Caramel Iced Latte with Foam (US); Source: Mintel GNPD

Looking Ahead with Mintel

Gen Z consumers are driven to purchase coffee based on flavour, but not so much based on brew method. Bridge the gap with marketing that communicates how the brew method impacts the taste profile of iced coffee.

Value coffee formats can offer foodservice service-inspired options specifically formulated to be prepared with cold water/milk at home to help cash-strapped Gen Z save.

Align with the latest trends in consumer behaviour by exploring our extensive Coffee Market Research today.

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