Encouraging Brits to drink cold tea and cold coffee is always going to be a tough sell. Let's face it, the UK's short summer makes cold drinks a less-than-favourable option.
However, Nielsen statistics show that cold hot drinks (a strange phrase, I know) is a growing market in the soft drinks subcategory, with its value increasing 45% year-on-year.
This is why we're seeing so much more iced coffee in our supermarkets, and why Starbucks' Frappuccino range seems so popular despite the lure of a hot cup of cappuccino.
I've read today that Britvic will push its Lipton Ice Tea range again this year with 'sampling activity' set for the Great British Summer. (I suggest they do it quick to take advantage of the small window of opportunity.)
As a fan of cold coffee and tea, I'd like to see a decrease in cost, because it's not a cheap habit. If cold hot drinks are really going to take off in the UK, cost-conscious shoppers are the key to its success. Right now, you could argue that the likes of illy issimo and Jimmy's Iced Coffee are premium products, which is a perception that needs to change lest the growth in this sector be seen as a phase.
Shaun Weston is managing editor of FoodBev.com
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