Launched in 2014 in Oakland, California, Black Medicine uses a blend of Latin American and African coffee beans to create hot brews before cooling it down in small, concentrated batches and then bottled at the company’s 18,000-square-foot facility.
According to the company, unlike standard cold brewing process, oxygen is kept out of the process which allows for a fuller extraction from the coffee, creating an enhanced flavor profile.
Black Medicine Iced Coffee is currently available in three flavors and sold in the western US market at natural, specialty and grocery stores including Whole Foods Markets, New Seasons, and Safeway.
Black Medicine sales increased 63% in the past quarter compared to the same period last year. The brand will increase West Coast availability this fall with further expansion into Northern California with grocery retailer Raley's (114 stores).
Canning coffee=cost savings
"While the brand has experienced tremendous consumer response to-date, we decided to move to cans from bottles to make on-the-go usage even more convenient," Black Medicine founder and CEO Chris Cooper said.
Prior to switching its operations to cans, Black Medicine’s previous packaging featured a metal cap which required a bottle opener to open, limiting on-the-go usage by consumers. In addition to meeting consumer demands for on-the-go packaging, the company is also reducing its operation costs by switching to aluminium cans, resulting in a lower cost item.
"We are excited that we are also passing on cost savings associated with this package change, and consumers can expect the retail price to drop," Cooper said.
According to Cooper, the price will drop from $3.99 to $3.49.
The aluminum advantage
In comparison to PET and glass bottles, aluminum cans came out on top in terms of recyclability and sustainability, according to The Aluminum Association.
Research by The Aluminum Association found that consumers recycle aluminum cans 54.5% of the time compared to 41.3% for glass and 31% for plastic (PET). Aluminum cans also contain, on average, 70% recycled content - more than three times the amount in a glass or plastic bottle.