The Economics Of Iced Coffee

April 28, 2014 in Daily Bulletin

On the face of it iced coffee should cost less than hot coffee. After all it has ice in it which is really just water. Yet we end up paying more for it. Kurt Soller found out why:

  • Real iced coffee isn’t just hot coffee mixed with ice. It requires a process known as cold-brewing where room temperature water is mixed with coffee beans over a long period.
  • This process requires more coffee beans than hot coffee, almost doubling the price of the coffee that goes into the drink.
  • The plastic cups that iced coffee is served in cost twice as much as their hot coffee paper cup counterparts.
  • Iced coffees come with straws which add a couple of cents to the cost of each cup.
  • Sweaty customers get more napkins to wipe their glasses and brows further driving up costs.
  • You need to rent out industrial ice machines which cost about $12 a day.
  • Customers use about 20% more milk in their cooled beverages.
  • On the plus side since the coffee is cold-brewed in advance the mixture is already ready and customers spend less time in line.
  • The cold brewed coffee also doesn’t spoil as quickly so there’s less wastage.

Read more about the economics of the business, how one coffee maker approaches the iced coffee season, and what happens to demand after Memorial Day over here.

Source: Grub Street

Via: Vox