illy to start offering Ready-to-Drink cold brew on most of United flights

illy to start offering Ready-to-Drink cold brew on most of United flights

June 28 - 2024

Coffee Geography Magazine

illy starts offering a refreshing new perk for travelers 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. The coffee is cold brewed for 12 hours, delivering a rich and balanced flavor 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 travelers." 

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 energized 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. 

illy is an Italian family-owned company, founded in Trieste in 1933. Every day more than 8 million cups of illy coffee are served in over 140 countries around the globe, in the cafés, restaurants and hotels, in single-brand cafés and shops, at home and in the office, in which the company is present through subsidiaries and distributors.