Global cold brew coffee pioneer Finlays has unveiled plans to fire up the UK cold brew coffee market with a multi-million-pound facility in the north of England.
The coffee extraction plant is set to begin producing quality cold brew coffee for branded and own-label suppliers to the UK and European grocery and hospitality sectors in 2022.
The site is located next to Finlays Europe’s tea decaffeination facility in Hull and will allow Finlays to supply bulk concentrate, RTD cans and bag in box through ambient and refrigerated supply chain networks. Packaging formats will be flexible to suit a variety of customer needs while also maintaining Finlays’ commitment to sustainable sourcing.
The UK market for cold brew coffee is booming, with annual sales hitting £56m in 2020. The growth of the UK and Europe market is now set to mirror the cold brew boom that has transformed the US coffee market, where annual cold brew sales are now worth a staggering £917m and counting. Finlays is the US cold brew market leader.
“Cold brew coffee is one of the most exciting trends in food and drink,” says Ian Bryson, Managing Director at Finlays Europe, a leading independent B2B supplier of tea, coffee and botanicals. “After explosive growth in the US, we believe we are about to see the same thing happen in Europe.
“Our new extraction facility is about helping beverage brand owners across Foodservice, B2B and retail tap into the cold brew opportunity by allowing us to manufacture in a flexible range of formats and being able to develop bespoke solutions.”
The cold brew process produces a smooth, naturally sweet flavour profile that is perceived to be less acidic than coffee brewed with hot water. Coffee beans are steeped in room-temperature water for several hours to produce concentrate that can be used for a variety of food and beverage applications.
Finlays Europe’s new facility in Hull will produce pure cold brew coffee from beans freshly roasted at its roastery in nearby Pontefract, West Yorkshire. The trusted coffee experts start with high-quality, in-season coffee beans to create tailored blends which are optimally extracted using the unique filtered water process. This will deliver consistent, bespoke solutions of premium quality in contrast to many products currently on the market which contain soluble coffee and are therefore not “pure”.
These solutions will satisfy UK and European consumers’ growing thirst for premium, flavourful coffee. Consumers have become more discerning, developing a deeper understanding and interest in coffee. Cold brew is the fastest growing segment in RTD/Iced Coffee while the average price paid for coffee in supermarkets has risen by 0.8%. This is being driven by soaring demand for more premium formats and take-home sales for RTD iced coffee have surged +37.6%.
“Our plan in Europe is to emulate the successful model we have in the US to deliver the same premium quality, pure cold brew that has taken the North American market by storm,” adds Bryson.
“Combining our rich coffee heritage with our pioneering extraction expertise, we are able to work closely with UK and European brand owners, retailers and food service outlets to provide bespoke cold brew coffee solutions.”
 GlobalData Plc 2020, Maia Research Analysis 2020
 Kantar – Take Home Sales MAT 13 June 2021