Finlays’ new UK cold-brew extraction plant is great opportunity for major brands

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Finlays is a leading global independent B2B supplier of tea, coffee and botanicals, and the world’s largest cold brew coffee provider by volume.

Opening in autumn 2022 in Hull, the new coffee extraction plant will produce pure cold brew coffee for branded and own-label suppliers to the UK and European grocery and hospitality sectors.

Cold brew is a fast-growing sector and is expected to reach a category value of €90mn in Europe by 2025 after a period of high growth, +51 per cent between 2017-21. Cold brew is also a major driver of innovation, accounting for more than 10 per cent of RTD/iced coffee launches in the last five years.

The  site is being built next to Finlays’ tea decaffeination facility in Hull and close to its tea and coffee facility in Pontefract, West Yorkshire. The new facility will focus on supplying big beverage brand owners with a full cold brew coffee solution, including ready-to-drink and bag-in-box formats.

“While cold brew is already extremely popular in the US and Japan, the market is emerging in the UK and Europe,” said Andrew Martin, Group Head of Business Development at Finlays. “Looking at the forecast growth for this sector, there is a huge opportunity for brands to lead in this space in both retail and Out of Home. Our new facility will help these brands tap into the exciting cold brew market.”

Cold brew is a key trend among young consumers with 80 per cent of Millennials finding cold brew appealing, and 40 per cent of Gen Z consumers preferring their coffee in chilled ready-to-drink formats.

Cold brew is also a significant value driver as figures show it achieves a significant premium compared to hot brew products – 89 per cent of cold brew drinkers are willing to pay a premium for this type of beverage.

Martin continued: “Cold brew is seen as a more premium alternative to traditional iced coffee. Cold brew is made by slowly steeping coffee in ambient temperature water to extract the best flavours from the bean, creating a full-bodied, rich flavour that is less acidic and bitter than hot brew. Its complex flavour profile and natural smoothness also means it offers a rich sensory experience without the need for additional ingredients.

“Cold brew is also a natural source of caffeine making it a great alternative to normally sugary energy drinks, most of which contain synthetic caffeine.”

Finlays’ new facility will produce pure cold brew coffee solutions, starting with high-quality, sustainably sourced coffee beans that are freshly roasted at its roastery in nearby Pontefract, West Yorkshire. Finlays will be able to create tailored blends which are steeped in ambient temperature filtered water in a reduced oxygen environment. The cold brew is triple filtered and gently extracted using a bespoke, gravity fed extraction technology that involves no heat or pressure.

This gentle extraction process will preserve the character and full-bodied flavour of the coffee and achieve consistency. Though some manufacturers may use heat to improve yields, or even add soluble coffee to achieve higher concentrations, Finlays will only offer “pure” cold brew to achieve less acidity, smoothness and rich flavour.

Packaging formats will be flexible to suit a variety of customer needs while also maintaining Finlays’ commitment to sustainable sourcing.

For more information go here.