Coffee giant Nescafé will launch two new RTD coffee drinks next year: eyeing up a new world of texture and functionality for coffee lovers with its Cold Whipped Lattes and Coffee Protein Smoothies.
The new offerings – announced at NACS show this month and due to hit the shelves in the US on January 1 – add to Nescafé’s existing RTD coffees the Shakissimo and the Smoovlatte. This brand expansion is a part of Nescafé’s efforts to deliver innovative and unique products in a marketplace that’s crowded with options.
Shaking up texture
Texture has been identified as a new frontier in food and beverage innovation. In the Global Food and Drink Trends for 2018 report, Mintel said “Texture is the next facet of formulation that can be leveraged to provide consumers with interactive—and documentation-worthy—experiences … with tangible connections to the real world, as well as moments worth sharing either in-person or online.”
Meanwhile, the RTD coffee category has exploded as consumers continuously prioritize convenience in their everyday routines. Canned espressos and bottled lattes line grocery shelves from both startup roasters and mega coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin’.
Such competition has forced coffee shops to get creative and figure out what their in-store experience offers consumers that they can’t get from a bottle bought in a convenience store. For the most part, RTD drinks have not been able to replicate the frothy and foamy textures of a freshly poured latte or cappuccino.
Nescafé is trying to change that with its Cold Whipped Latte launch. The drink comes in 10oz plastic bottles in Coffee and French Vanilla flavors and uses a unique coffee production method to deliver the frothy latte feeling expected from a café. NESCAFE recommends shaking the bottles about 10 times to get the desired texture before drinking.
According to Avantika Chakravorty, marketing manager of Nescafé’s RTD coffee business, indulgence is driven by two elements: taste and texture. With the Cold Whipped Latte, Nescafé believes that it’s mastered the delivery of both.
Doubling up on protein
But consumers also want more than indulgence from their drinks; they want health and benefits too. Nescafé is dipping into the functional beverage category with the Coffee Protein Smoothies, a unique product that is marketed as a meal replacement option.
Nescafé shared that 70% of coffee drinkers would rather skip breakfast than their morning coffee, which is what inspired this unlikely pairing of coffee and protein smoothies. The initial launch is selling it in 11oz bottles in either Banana or Mocha flavors.
The drinks also tap into the rise of dairy alternative beverages and a ‘flexitarian’ lifestyle that’s seen more consumers buying vegan and dairy products without adhering to a specific diet. to The smoothies are completely non-dairy and each bottle contains 15g of plant-based protein with oats, almond milk and almond butter. Nescafé saw an opportunity to tap into the plant-based trend and develop a health-forward and clean energy breakfast product, according to Chakravorty.
“Nestle continues to innovate to meet the ever-changing needs and preferences of consumers. We know that consumers are looking for plant-based options and we continue to see that category grow,” the company said.
Chakravorty told BeverageDaily that the smoothies will likely be most enjoyed by “the consumers who are looking for more from their coffee. They’re looking for functional coffee moments and they want their coffee to do more than just provide the caffeine.”
Both the Cold Whipped Lattes and the Coffee Protein Smoothies launch on January 1 and will roll out in grocery stores nationwide.