Business World

Iced Coffee Saves the (Summer) Day

It’s summer here in New York - and the weather is finally settling into higher temperatures. The summer season was always the time when coffee roasters went on vacation, took it easy...sales were quiet. Not anymore - now that coffeehouses, major convenience outlets, donut shops and gas stations are presenting chillingly attractive iced coffee beverages.

“The coffee trade is down about 10% in July and August compared to the wintertime, but before the 1960s, it was down as much as 40%,” says Donald Schoenholt, president of coffee roaster, Gillies Coffee Co. in Brooklyn, New York. “After air conditioning spread from movie theaters to office buildings and then to homes, people for the first time could sit cool at home and drink a hot cup of coffee. More recently, chilled drinks like iced cappuccino along with ready-to-drink brews have helped U.S. summer sales,” Schoenholt said.

Coffee shop owners say iced coffee and espresso drinks have been increasing and that their blenders are on all day long. One shop saw a 57% increase in cold drink sales from the previous year and is finding vanilla to be the most popular flavor in flavored iced lattes. They say consumers are still drinking their hot coffee in the mornings and switching to iced coffee and iced espresso drinks in the afternoon.

According to the National Coffee Association of the U.S.A., 29% of consumers had at least one iced or coffee blended with ice in 2004, up 9% from the previous year.

“Today’s iced and chilled coffee craze owes a lot to Italy, where a cracked- or chipped-ice coffee called “granita” has been sold for decades, spreading through Europe and to America,” Schoenholt said.

Dunkin Donuts has had a tremendous success with their iced coffee beverage line and now as their parent company, Allied Domecq gets sold, all eyes will be watching their company direction. (By the way - did you know that Dunkin Donuts purchases Fair Trade coffees for their espresso beverages? They don’t even advertise it…they just genuinely believe in the concept.)

On our cover we feature the new skinny frappes from Cafe D’Amore - iced coffees served in champagne glasses. I kept the extras from samples they sent us as I plan an “iced coffee night” with my 15-year-old daughter, Katie, and her friends in our backyard. They are crazy for these beverages - throughout the warmer months I see them toting them all over town.

Jane McCabe
Editor & Co-Publisher

Tea & Coffee - July/August, 2005

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