Discussion over Cold Brew Coffee is Up, According to Foodable Labs

It can be said that in recent years, cold brew coffee has quickly made its way into mainstream.

Cold brew has a smoother chocolate coffee flavor as opposed to other versions of coffee. The reason behind this is the fact that more coffee grounds are used and the steep time can be quite long and delicate since instead of hot water, room temperature or cold water is used for this process.  

This bitterless beverage has in turn carved itself a path to reach consumers directly through grocery stores in made-to-go bottles, as well as being incorporated as a drink menu item in coffee shops and some emerging restaurant brands, alike.

Courtesy of Jameson

Courtesy of Jameson

Cold brew is actually experiencing a 2.4 percentage increase in integration on the Top 150 Emerging Brands. However, when it comes to the integration of cold brew on independent restaurant menus, the drink is actually experiencing a 23.4 decrease year over year when 5,000 concepts were analyzed by Foodable Labs.

This could be a reason why cold brew has been declining in consumer sentiment in the past twelve months. Its score has dropped a whopping 16.2 points from a high 87.4 to a low 71.2 out of 100 points total.

One wouldn’t think this was the case from looking at the new products brands like Jameson and Apothic have been launching.

Jameson Cold Brew

The brand known for its triple-distilled, Irish whiskey decided to try its luck with a bottled version of the Irish coffee cocktail using cold brew from Fairtrade Arabica beans. The cocktail features “intense coffee bean aromatics combined with vanilla nuttiness of Jameson,” according the brand’s website.

Courtesy of Apothic

Courtesy of Apothic

Apothic Brew

As Foodable has reported in the past, Apothic Brew released in April of this year a red blend wine infused with cold brew. The winemaker, Debbie Juergenson, “realized that many of the characteristics in cold brew coffee and red wine naturally complement each other.” The result? A balanced red wine with a red fruit, mocha, and oak flavor.

Despite the lower consumer sentiment score, social discussion over the topic has actually been up 3.1 percent in the past year. This could be due to the integration of the beverage into established beverage brand products.

So, what exactly is motivating brands to jump outside of their comfort zones and explore new innovative ways to spice up their offerings with flavors like those from cold brew?

What’s for sure is that there’s a growing appreciation for the beverage as Americans continue to learn more about the sourcing and creation process of coffee.

To learn about how popular cold brew coffee brands are ranked by consumer sentiment and who is the leading the demographic consuming it, watch the Industry Pulse video above!

Is Fast Casual Dying? Emerging Brands Tell a Different Story

Despite major losses on the Nasdaq for national fast casual brands like Chipotle, Panera Bread, and Noodles & Company, fast casual emerging brands like Freshii, Corelife Eatery, and Sweetgreen are growing.

Based on Top 150 Emerging Brands Data

Based on Top 150 Emerging Brands Data

Foodable defines an emerging brand as a concept that finds itself at the beginning stages of development, whether it’s just launching or it’s working through the minutiae of scaling and expansion.

According to Foodable Labs, restaurant traffic overall has gone down 6.8 percent year over year, based on social media mentions of the top 1,000 chains, while emerging fast casual brands have seen an 8.2 percent increase in restaurant traffic.

Nasdaq claims that fast casual is a dying trend, but we believe this is just a shift in the trend.
Emerging brands can’t stay an emerging brand forever, eventually, they begin to scale and gain notoriety across the nation, if done right. National brands like Chipotle are simply seeing natural market forces.

They face greater competition as they continue to expand, as well as more challenges. Whereas an emerging brand is just beginning to build brand recognition. Emerging brands are more nimble when they’re smaller and face less scrutiny.

To learn more about what that exactly means for restaurants, be sure to watch the video above and download the Top 150 Emerging Brands Report.

Sweetgreen— Success In 4 Key Areas Propel Emerging Brand To The Top

Sweetgreen— Success In 4 Key Areas Propel Emerging Brand To The Top

We talk a lot about guest experiences, core values, sustainability, collaboration, and community within the restaurant industry. One brand that has been excelling at all of the above is Sweetgreen. This emerging brand has over 75 locations operating across much of the United States, employing over 3,500 employees.

Operating since 2007, Sweetgreen has become well known for its simple, seasonal, and healthy food options, by aiming to offer an organic, locally sourced, and inexpensive alternative to the typical QSR. It operates with a transparent food supply network, the company cooks from scratch, and it has built a community of its own; of individuals who have a passion for ‘real food.’

Its systems have had a powerful impact on the health of individuals, communities, and most importantly to them, the environment. The company has positioned itself for further growth and opportunities, by striving for perfection in the following key areas:

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Matchbox Setting New Standards in Casual Dining

Matchbox Setting New Standards in Casual Dining
  • As a Top 150 Emerging Brand, Matchbox brings a new standard of service to the declining casual dining segment.

  • In an era of quick-service and on-the-go dining, Matchbox combines an excellent atmosphere with premium ingredients to offer diners a place to spend time.


Matchbox isn't your typical casual dining restaurant. Matchbox uses all premium ingredients and even makes fresh mozzarella for its pizzas in-house. The design of every location is built previous locations with reclaimed barn wood, red painted iron, and awe-inspiring floating booths. But at the end of the day, the team credits the culture of the restaurant for its success. Watch this episode of the Emerging Brands series to see how Matchbox sets the bar high for casual dining.

Matchbox began in a small, matchbox-shaped building in Washington, D.C. in 2003 as a local place to have a beer and some burgers with friends. As the idea began to expand, restaurants began popping up around D.C., and then Virginia, and then Texas and now, their biggest location yet; An 8-million dollar, two-story restaurant in Sunrise, Florida.

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Emerging Restaurant Brands Set New Pace for Growth While the Rest of the Industry Implodes in 2018

Emerging Restaurant Brands Set New Pace for Growth While the Rest of the Industry Implodes in 2018
  • Foodable Labs releases the Top 150 Emerging Restaurant Brands report.

  • These emerging brands saw 8.2% spike in social traffic and are millennial favorites.

The industry is facing a major slump in 2018, quite possibly the greatest reduction in traffic for total restaurant locations in the past 30 years.

Foodable Labs research reveals this trend based on a combination of three factors – industry sentiment, a transitioning consumer base and slowing social restaurant visits (SRVs.) These factors combined will attribute to the impending doom for the restaurant business in 2018.

This is where the Emerging Brands come in to save the day.

What seems to be a bulletproof approach to brand building, we have found that there are 150 brands that seem to be bucking the trends of slowing traffic, closing locations and a consumer shift. In fact, these emerging brands are breaking the norms of the restaurant business of the past by creating a new approach for an entirely new type of consumer.

These 150 restaurants are leading the industry in a variety of categories. On average, they are up 8.2 percent in SRVs versus the rest of the top 1,000 brands we have indexed, which is down 5.9 percent.

These brands also have an average Sentiment score of 86.5 compared to the industry average at 76.2.

What is even more impressive is the breakdown of consumer base. These brands average a staggering 63.5 percent of millennial consumers, a segment of the population with super buying power.

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