August 5, 2016
Watch Out Starbucks: Peet’s Coffee & Tea Now Has Three Cold Brew Options

On Monday, July 25, Peet's Coffee & Tea unveiled its brand new ready-to-drink (RTD) line with Coffee au Lait, Baridi Black, and Dark Chocolate.

According to a press release, the new line features high-quality ingredients, including Peet's freshly roasted beans that are cold brewed to the same standard used in its cafes.

"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 Peet's Coffee CEO, Dave Burwick. "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 began shipping on July 25, and the brand will soon be available in select Peet's Coffee cafes, grocery stores, and partner locations in the San Francisco Bay Area before expanding into new markets.

"We're putting them into natural food stores, specialty grocers, and also conventional grocers," President of Peet's Consumer Division, Eric Lauterbach, told Bevnet. Lauterbach also named Whole Foods, Mollie Stone's, Lucky's, and Safeway as initial retail partners.

The new RTD Cold Brew line is available in three flavors:

Coffee au Lait Cold Brew – described by the company as a "coffee-forward pairing of Baridi Black with the freshest rBST-free milk and pure cane sugar, in a 10 oz carton."

Baridi Black Cold Brew – labeled as the "purest expression" of Cold Brew from Peet's Coffee, served straight in a 12 oz glass bottle.

Dark Chocolate Cold Brew – Baridi Black is made with the "freshest rBST-free milk and rich Guittard cocoa, in a 10 oz carton."

The base for the new Cold Brew line started with the proprietary East African Baridi Blend, which is known for its bright, aromatic profile. Each batch is hand roasted by Peet's skilled artisans before it's slow brewed without heat for that smooth, refreshing cold brew taste.

Each RTD recipe was carefully crafted with sourced ingredients, including rBST-free milk, real cane sugar, and rich cocoa from the family-owned Guittard Chocolate Company. And, unlike other companies, Peet's refuses to use artificial ingredients, colors, or preservatives, and no carrageenan.

To ensure the new line arrives on-time, Peet's is providing Direct Store Delivery (DSD) of RTD Cold Brew beverages in its own refrigerated trucks.

Due to the overwhelmingly positive response Peet's received last summer when the company released the Cold Brew in its cafes, Peet's claims that the RTD line was a natural progression to meeting customer demand for a grab-and-go option.

"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," Peet's Senior Director of Innovation, Jessica Mitchell, said in a statement. "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."

According to the 2015 Mintel Coffee Report, the Cold Brew is an industry-wide sensation, growing 338.9 percent between 2010 – 2015, with 115 percent of that growth occurring from 2015 to 2015 alone.

"Retail sales of cold brew coffee reflect its rising popularity as growth has been steady since 2010, shooting up rapidly from 2014-2015," Beverage Analyst at Mintel, Elizabeth Sisel, said. "While cold brew represents a small portion of the overall category, our research indicates curiosity about trying a new style of coffee is driving current consumer demand."

"Cold brew coffee is to traditional iced coffee, as craft beer is to mainstream beer," Peet's Chief Executive Dave Burwick told Fortune. "That's because it has higher quality ingredients, more complex taste and an overall more pleasurable experience."

[Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]