If you run your own coffee shop, partnering with a private label cold brew supplier is the perfect way to provide quality cold coffee beverages to your customers while maintaining your brand. An external  manufacturer will enable you to meet growing demand without the upfront investment it’d take to do it yourself. 

Working with a private label partner saves significant time, money, and effort. By partnering with a supplier, you can concentrate on marketing and doing what you do best – serving your customers amazing coffee. However, this will only work if you find the right partner. So, what should you be looking for? We spoke to Maciej Duszak, Co-Founder of Hardtank to find out the three key things to look for in a private label cold brew supplier.

The facility of a private label cold brew supplier.

#1: Find a private label supplier that is focused on coffee

The first thing to look for, naturally, is quality coffee. Much of the growth in RTD and cold brew is driven by younger generations who have higher expectations for their coffee. So, it is vital that you partner with a supplier that can meet these expectations. 

Reputable private label cold brew suppliers will not only source quality coffee, but also know how to get the most out if. They will know the perfect roast profile to suit your needs and expertly brew it before canning. This ensures you’re providing your customers with high-quality and great-tasting cold brew. 

Maciej explains more about what goes into crafting excellent RTD coffee. 

“Cold brewing consists of so many variables. Brewing ratio, roast level, grinding size, water composition, brewing time, pressure, pasteurisation curve, and more has to be taken into consideration,” he says.

A can of coffee produced by a private label cold brew supplier next to a laptop and glass.

#2: Look for options to customise your cold brew offering

In addition to quality coffee, you’ll need your supplier to help your products to stand out. Choose a private label cold brew supplier that provides custom packaging to accommodate your labelling. This will ensure that you can differentiate yourself in a highly competitive and growing market

“Creating your own unique product will help you stand out from the crowd,” says Maciej, “this is very important when building your brand identity and being ahead of the competition.”

As well as the beverage itself, you can control each aspect of its appearance to enhance your brand. This keeps customers coming back if they want the same experience – which is beneficial for brand awareness. 

“Through the label designing, formula creation, logistics, payments – it’s important to be transparent, and client-focused,” Maciej says. “Make it easy for them to enter the RTD market.”

Custom formula private cold brew coffee

For a truly customised offering, consider finding a private label cold brew supplier who can produce a custom formula. 

Rather than using the supplier’s coffee, you can craft your own formula to include additions like plant-based milk substitutes, syrups, flavourings, and other active ingredients. You can even use your own coffee, if you already have it prepared, and your partner will handle all of the packaging for you. 

This expands the range of beverages you offer and caters to the younger demographics which are increasingly concerned with drinking coffee that meets their specific preferences. Additionally, serving these drinks in an RTD format saves time during service and reduces the need for staff training.

“Selling a can of cold brew takes much less time than preparing an iced latte with an espresso machine, for example. We can offer many formulas as an RTD which would be difficult to produce in a cafe,” says Maciej. 

Maciej explains that the lead time is around three months and says this is necessary for a custom formula – because it means the team can get everything perfect. 

“In that time, we prepare dozens of iterations, collect feedback, redo samples, and conduct lab tests,” he says.

Two cans of coffee produced by a private label cold brew supplier

#3: Make sure they can meet your volume and scale requirements

So, once you’re sure about the quality your supplier offers – and know how you’re customising your cans – there is one more major question to answer: how much of it do you need? 

While RTD cold brew coffee is growing fast enough to mean it’s worth investing in, it can be tough to know just how much to buy for your customer base.

Maciej explains that at Hardtank, we offer a low minimum order quantity (MOQ) of a 3000-piece pallet. This reduces the risk of overstocking which can cause logistical and cash flow problems. 

However, you can increase the volume with subsequent orders to meet growing demand – such as during the summer months. 

“Going for private label RTD also means you can minimise the risk and test various products at a low scale,” Maciej explains.

This means you can order small quantities of new products to try new things and see how your customers like them. With the options available for customisation with private label cold brew, you have the opportunity to continuously and sustainably test out new trends and expand your menu in kind.

Five cans of coffee produced by a private label cold brew supplier

Choosing a private label cold brew supplier

It can be hard to find a private label supplier who will tackle all of this for you and, given the high initial investment, is challenging to pursue yourself. 

We know this is the case. That’s why, at Hardtank, we take care of everything from start to finish, with low MOQs that make it easy to get started.

“For roasters, cafe chains, and e-commerce platforms it is a great way of diversifying their revenue stream,” Maciej explains. “We have clients who create brands entirely focused on RTD and we provide 100% of their production needs. 

“This means they don’t need to build factories, train staff, acquire certificates, and learn microbiology. They only focus on brand and distribution and have very low fixed costs which is very helpful for a startup business.”

Interested in learning more? Check out our private label services and get started crafting your new specialty cold brew coffee. You can also sign up for our newsletter here

Hardtank private label services