As cold coffee has exploded in popularity over the last few years, more brands are looking to enter the market and capture this growing demand. 

However, many businesses are running into the same problems. Preparing cold brew is time-consuming, and packaging it in a ready-to-drink (RTD) format is difficult – requiring significant upfront investment in equipment and infrastructure. 

By partnering with a white label cold brew coffee supplier, you can bring these products to market much quicker without taking on these costs. But how do you find the right manufacturing partner? 

We spoke to Connor Nestor, Managing Director of New Ground. He told us more about how to find the perfect supplier for your business. Read on to learn more. 

Look for a partner that uses high-quality coffee

One of the key things to look for in a white label cold brew coffee supplier is the quality of coffee they use. This is particularly important as the demand for RTD is being driven by Generation Z and millennial consumers – who are increasingly concerned about the quality of their coffee

Connor explains more: “The quality of the extraction is the most important element. Filling is the outcome, but the most important thing is what you are actually putting into the can.”

You need to use a coffee which will work well as cold brew. Thanks to its longer extraction time, this brewing method gives coffee a sweeter and smoother taste with a more mellow acidity.

Typically, roasters choose a medium or dark roast, as the extraction method complements the toasted nut and chocolate flavour notes. Natural processed coffees also work well thanks to their inherent sweetness.

However, there is a growing interest in using light roasts for cold brew, too. Lighter roasts show more of the origin characteristics of the coffee, bright, floral, or fruity flavour notes. This can really shine when brewed cold and served black over ice.

A pallet of closely packed private label cold brew cans

Consider the volume you need to produce

As well as quality coffee, it is vital that your supplier has the capacity to meet your scale requirements. 

“The filling process is extremely important not just for quality but also yield,” Connor explains. “Coffee has high input costs, and if you’re not working with an experienced manufacturer, you may have to bear the costs of wasted product caused by low blending yields, filling, or processing issues.”

The right white label cold brew coffee supplier will have a production line that can prepare high volumes of coffee reasonably quickly, while also offering low minimum order quantities (MOQs) for market entry. This enables you to scale as your RTD becomes more popular, as well as pivoting to test new products as the market evolves.

Food safety for white label cold brew coffee

Another factor in the process to consider is food safety

“There is a massive risk of contamination when packing coffee and the facilities, systems, and processes for managing risk to deliver high quality products are imperative,” Connor explains. 

A white label cold brew supplier will have invested in these food safety processes. This is difficult to balance independently as a roaster – especially if you don’t have a dedicated facility for manufacturing RTD beverages.

Custom packaging for RTD

A white label cold brew coffee supplier not only provides you with quality canned coffee but can also customise the packaging with your branding.

This has several benefits. First and foremost, custom packaging puts your brand and logo in front of customers. This helps your brand stand out in a marketplace which is becoming more saturated.

It can also provide a sense of authenticity. This is a major factor for engaging millennial and Generation Z consumers – who are driving cold brew’s rapid growth. 

Branded packaging is also a key channel for building loyalty with your customers. Once they begin buying your RTD, they will have to come back to you for more.

Beyond this, working with a supplier who can print custom labels for your cans allows you to differentiate across your product range. This means you can more easily signpost to consumers that you have different flavours, as well as decaffeinated, low-calorie, and dairy or gluten-free options. This is especially important, as modern consumers are increasingly prioritising customisation in the RTD segment. They want to feel like the products they buy are “made” for them – which is why it helps to offer several different types of canned cold coffee.

Eight multi-coloured cans of private label cold brew coffee

Finding a white label cold brew coffee supplier for your business

In summary, when looking for a partner to prepare your RTD range, there are several things to keep an eye out for. This includes coffee quality, scalability and infrastructure, food safety, and customisable packaging options. 

Connor has one final piece of advice to offer: “Look for someone with great experience with coffee and with food safety certifications to support the shelf life you are targeting.”

By partnering with a white label cold brew coffee supplier, you’ll be able to get a wide range of RTD products to customers quickly and consistently. They can brew, package, and brand your coffee much more effectively than if you were to attempt it yourself. 

At Hardtank, we have years of experience producing high-quality RTD products using specialty-grade ingredients. We leverage this to help roasters and other coffee brands enter  a rapidly-growing market segment that is otherwise challenging to access. 

Interested? To find out more about our private label services, contact our team, or to learn more about cold brew, sign up for our newsletter

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