Popularity of functional claims extends to RTD coffee, says Mintel

This is based on results from an online survey conducted by market research firm Mintel, which asked 613 internet users in the US aged 18 and older who drink any ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee products.

Results from the survey, published in Mintel’s US Coffee Market Report​, revealed that RTD coffee drinkers in the US want options that include antioxidants (47%), promote brain health (40%), are anti-inflammatory (35%), or have added probiotics (30%).

The findings are in line with the general trend of US consumers awarding brands and products touting health claims and functional benefits with their dollars as they shy away from traditional snacks​.

Mintel doesn’t have historical data on interest in functional benefits from coffee over time, so it’s difficult to know whether this interest in functional claims on coffee products is new or not.

But it does track new product development, and Caleb Bryant, senior beverage analyst at Mintel, told NutraIngredients-USA that coffee product launches featuring a functional claim “experienced noteworthy jumps over the last two years.”

Functional claims boosted by fortification of other ingredients

“Coffee by itself offers many natural health benefits,”​ Bryant told us. Scientific literature linking coffee with several health outcomes is abundant—from anti-diabetes potential​ to reduced risk of death​.

“A coffee company could tout its product’s naturally high antioxidant content on-pack,”​ he said.

But many of the other functionality claims with RTD coffee are due to product formulations or added ingredients, Bryant told us.

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