illy and United Airlines partner for RTD coffee

illy and United Airlines are excited to announce a refreshing new perk for travellers this summer. Starting July 1, illy’s canned, ready-to-drink Cold Brew will be available on most United flights over 300 miles, making United the only major U.S. airline currently serving premium cold brew coffee on most of its flights. 

illy’s Cold Brew is crafted using the company’s unique blend of 100% Arabica beans, sourced from the finest coffee-growing regions around the world. The coffee is then cold brewed for 12 hours, delivering a rich and balanced flavour profile. 

It will be complimentary in United’s premium cabins and offered for purchase in United Economy as part of the airline’s buy onboard menu.

In celebration of this new offering, from June 26 through July 3, 2024, passengers and cold brew enthusiasts will have the opportunity to sample illy’s ready-to-drink Cold Brew on select redeye flights departing from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

“We are excited to build upon our successful partnership with United Airlines to offer our premium RTD Cold Brew to their passengers,” said Jack Edwards, President of illy North America. “This collaboration allows us to share the illy experience with a wider audience and provide a delightful refreshment option for travellers.”

This new offering from illy and United will debut just in time for the airline’s busiest Fourth of July holiday yet; more than 5 million people are expected to fly with United between June 28 – July 8, up more than 7% from last year.

“As more people than ever take to the skies this summer, we are thrilled to offer fliers a new premium drink, and we’re proud to be the only major U.S. airline currently serving cold brew onboard most flights,” said Aaron McMillan, Managing Director, Hospitality Programs at United Airlines. “We know fliers enjoy a pick-me-up during travel, and illy’s canned cold brew is the perfect beverage option for coffee lovers looking to stay energised and focused during their trip.”

According to the National Coffee Association’s (NCA) Spring/Fall 2023 report, 55% of ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee consumers drink it multiple times per week. RTD coffee has become the number one type of coffee consumed across Millennials and Gen Z, who together make up 43% of the population. The popularity of cold brew has skyrocketed, increasing by 300% since 2016, with a notable 45% increase since January 2023.

This exciting partnership highlights United’s commitment to providing premium customer experiences and illy’s dedication to delivering high-quality, delicious coffee. Passengers on select flights will be the first to enjoy illy’s ready-to-drink Cold Brew in the sky, setting a new standard for in-flight refreshments.

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