Meet Minor Figures, a relatively new company based out of London selling cold brew coffee in Tetra Pak containers with straws. Cold brew in a juice box! We’ve seen stubbies, flasks, cans, and cartons, but light and easy-to-squeeze juice boxes? Yes, please.
We had an opportunity to try the Minor Figures cold brew at the London Coffee Festival, made with an Ethiopia Sidamo coffee roasted by Climpson & Sons.
The founders William James Rixon and Stuart Forsyth have a barista background, while founder Jonathan Chiu provides expertise in his years in fashion and retail. In early 2015, the company completed a round of funding on the UK private investment crowdfunding website Crowdcube, selling 18% of its equity for £148,890.
In the nine short months it’s been around, Minor Figures has already found homes in UK grocery outlets Selfridges, Whole Foods, Harvey Nichols, Daylesford Organic, and cafes like Climpson & Sons, Espresso Room, Mother’s Milk, Pavilion, and Lanark. “We work with loads of independent cafes right up and down the UK,” writes co-owner Stuart Forsyth,”we are also trialling our product in two fantastic chains right now. In the UK, we are trialling successfully in the UK’s best quality coffee chain Harris & Hoole (total 41 outlets). In Sweden, we are currently trialling with perhaps the best quality coffee chain in the world, The Espresso House (200 outlets).”
Beyond Tetrapack cold brew offerings, the brand also sells a line of bar soap. Proceeds of the soap sales are donated to a UK nonprofit, Project Waterfall. “Project Waterfall is an initiative developed by the Allegra Foundation to bring clean water to the communities which grow our coffee. Since 2011, the initiative has raised over £230,000 and brought clean water to 10,280 people in the Mbulu district of Tanzania,” according to the Minor Figures website.
Minor Figures won the innovative product award at the London Coffee Festival, the first award for the brand. In 2014, they were finalists in the World Beverage Awards.
You can find Minor Figures cold brew in Finland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, Hungary, and Sweden right now. Minor Figures recently opened an office in Melbourne, Australia and will expand in the Asia-Pacific region.
What does the future hold for Minor Figures? Forsyth tells us, “Our positioning sits Minor Figures between ugly, big brand RTD (ready to drink) long-life iced coffee, and the exclusive, hipster, artisanal, expensive, short-shelf-life cold brew. So our aim is to shake up the Ready To Drink (RTD) category, by taking quality, values, ethics, and passion of the ’specialty’ coffee scene and putting all of that into a product that sits on a supermarket shelf.”
Specialty at the supermarket…one juice box at a time.