Meet the maker: Jimmy’s Iced Coffee

Jim Cregan talks the story of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee

Jim Cregan the founder of Jimmy's Iced Coffee in an office
Cregan started Jimmy’s Iced Coffee with his sister Sooz after a trip to Australia.

What’s your role?

I am the co-founder and brand director of JImmy’s Iced Coffee.

What is your brand’s story?

I discovered ready-to-drink iced coffee on a road trip to Australia. When I came back to the UK, I couldn’t find a refreshing equivalent and decided to make my own with my sister, Sooz. 

We borrowed some money from our parents and launched our product into Selfridges Food Hall on 7 April, 2011. That was the start of the rollercoaster!

What’s a typical working day like for you?

We are a little more flexible at work now and, fortunately, I’m able to spend a bit more time with my family. Typically, now, I get to drop off or pick up my kids from school either side of work.

When the weather is nice, I’ll cycle in and we’ll either have a core team meeting or just jump straight on to the laptop. Some days will require a little travel and others could be back-to-back meetings.

Every month, we’ll have a crew cook-up in the kitchen and it’s a great chance for everyone to get together. Friday afternoons become more sociable and we’ll crack open a beer to digest the week and have a little wind-down.

What is the process for making Jimmy’s?

Just imagine making a coffee at home and slinging it in the fridge. Kind of like that but on a much bigger scale and, if I told you, I’d have to kill you.

What are some standout memories?

There are so many to be honest, but a couple of highlights include our RideClub Rally weekend, which was a festival we threw for our local customers. 

We also filmed a really fun music video on YouTube, which was such a really fulfilling experience.

What’s your favourite flavour/variant?

I’m an original guy, 24/7. I do sometimes dabble in our Oat and, since launching our new Caramel, I’ve enjoyed a couple of those during the lull after lunch. They’re such a pleasure to drink as they’re not so sweet or thick, meaning you can have a few!

What do you think sets Jimmy’s apart from its rivals?

Our mission statement is very clear in the fact that we want to be refreshing and this is the biggest differentiation from our competitors. 

From a taste perspective, we want our drinkers to get the flavour of coffee and not be hit with heaps of sugar. From a packaging perspective, we’re the only UK soft drink to be in BottleCan, which is all aluminium.

We’re strong in customer care and really love talking to our customers and being there for them come rain or shine. We’re also a B-Corp business and do lots of other work outside of iced coffee within the community.

How can retailers make the most of your brand?

We understand that the iced coffee market is growing massively and supermarkets do need to offer a range for all of their customers. 

We believe that range needs to be in a good, better, best format and we feel we’re filling the best format due to our product credentials. 

BottleCans give the category great shelf presence due to the iconic shape of the vessel and the brand colourways really pop. It’s eye-catching and a great way for consumers to get into the category.

Are  there any new product developments coming down the pipeline or anything else you would like to talk about?

I’d like to talk about how rubbish I am at windsurfing but it’s probably not that relevant. 

In other news, we’re looking into large formats of iced coffee and how we can push our brand new Caramel. 

We’ve made an amazing ‘airstream’ bike which we can sample products and run ‘spin to win’ competitions from. 

It was made in-house by our amazing creative team and it’ll be up and down the UK this summer. Keep your eyes peeled on our social channels to see where we’ll be!