It’s no secret that cold brew has undergone a period of meteoric growth – its popularity increased by 300% between 2016 and 2023. Understandably, as this demand has grown, more businesses have started to enter the market. 

However, doing so can have challenges. Preparing it in a coffee shop or roastery is time-consuming, and quality control can be a problem. To address this, many brands have started to source private label cold brew coffee.

This is where companies partner with a manufacturer to prepare canned drinks complete with their branding. This is more efficient than preparing cold brew independently – but also has several other advantages.We spoke to Adam Holliefield, Director of Cold Brew at Coffee Support, to find out more about the benefits of private label cold brew coffee. We outlined five that are especially important to businesses. Read on to find out what they are.

A cold brew coffee can next to a laptop and a glass with cold brew coffee.

1. Your supplier will be a cold brew expert

To start with, a private label cold brew coffee supplier will possess expertise and equipment that you simply won’t have access to.

With experience producing thousands of litres at a time, trusting them to handle the manufacturing will ensure a greater level of quality control from start to finish. This means better consistency from batch to batch, and thus a better overall experience for your customers.

Conversely, brewing small batches infrequently at your coffee shop ad hoc can mean there is much more variance in quality and flavour profile depending on staff training, water temperature, and extraction levels.

As well as this, you can rely on your supplier to ensure your private label cold brew coffee is food-safe and shelf-stable. Tackling this as a business owner is more difficult.

“A professional or private label manufacturer will know how to comply with regulations, while also delivering a consistent and high-quality product quickly. Gone are the days of brewing cold brew in the back, training employees, and running in the middle of service,” Adam says.

This means your coffee will be prepared to a high standard without needing to train staff and set aside hours to prepare cold brew. This saves money and time in both the short and long term.

Custom private label cold brew coffee cans for SCA UAE.

2. Increase your brand’s visibility

With so many options on the market, it’s critical for brands to stand out and capture consumers’ attention. Private label cold brew coffee enables you to put your brand front and centre in a growing marketplace, meaning you can more easily win mind share with consumers. 

Unique and personalised packaging also offers a sense of authenticity. This is highly attractive to modern consumers and plays a significant role in building brand loyalty. 

Finally, once customers begin buying your private label cold brew, they have to come back to you for more. This creates demand that only you can fulfil to ensure repeat business.

Private label cold brew coffee cans.

3. Reduce upfront investment and increase profitability

One of the biggest challenges with cold brew is its inefficiency: it takes hours to prepare, and requires a large amount of ground coffee. Even if you brew a larger batch, it isn’t shelf stable and can only be refrigerated for a day or two.

The best solution to this is to sell RTD cold brew. While investing in your own canning or bottling equipment is an option, this is a huge upfront cost which an external partner would have otherwise covered. 

Ultimately, private label cold brew coffee suppliers can manufacture shelf-stable RTD without the need for a significant investment.

Enjoying cold brew coffee from cans.

4. Target new markets

Selling cold brew coffee gives businesses the opportunity to diversify. Historically, coffee shops have experienced a decline in sales during periods of warmer weather.

However, in recent years, we’ve seen demand shift as more cold coffee options have entered the market. By sourcing private label cold brew coffee, you can more effectively insulate yourself from seasonality. This makes it easier to break into new markets and acquire a wider base of consumers.

Beyond seasonality, there are other markets you can reach with RTD. Many of these products are vegan as standard, enabling you to reach people with dietary restrictions. 

Similarly, cold brew is also becoming increasingly popular in emerging markets beyond the US and Europe.

“There are so many possibilities for products, branding, and creativity for regular black cold brew as well as creative cold brew lattes and mocktails,” Adam says. “Consumers want to try new and interesting products and see a creative label and artwork that reflects the product inside.”

Ultimately, with low minimum order quantities and short lead times, you can bring your branded products to completely new markets. 
Additionally, custom formulas and alternative beverage options – such as those provided by Hardtank – allow you to sell several different products to meet a wider range of consumer needs. As well as low-calorie, vegan, and decaffeinated coffee options, we also offer cold steeped tea and cascara.

Two nitro cold brew coffee cans with custom labels.

5. You can create your own custom formula

Working with a private label cold brew coffee supplier will give you the opportunity to create your own custom recipe for your beverage. You supply the formula and they can manufacture it at scale.

This is a perfect extra step beyond branding your own product – it means that customers have to keep coming back, and is a perfect option for roasters looking to diversify.

Opening a can of cold brew coffee.

If you want to begin selling your own cold beverages, then private label cold brew coffee is the best place to start. 

An external supplier can prepare your cold coffee far more quickly and easily than you could brew it – which helps you to reach new customers with minimal hassle and no upfront investments.

By partnering with a brand like Hardtank, you can access new markets, attract more consumers, and ultimately generate sales where you wouldn’t have previously been able to. 

To find out more, sign up for our newsletter. For more information, get in touch with the Hardtank team.

Hardtank private label cold brew coffee