Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Vanilla, Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Mocha, and Coffee Sweetened Black debut
Starbucks expanded its line of ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee beverages with a Cold & Crafted line, including Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Vanilla, Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Mocha, and Coffee Sweetened Black. These RTD beverages are a result of consumer research conducted to help the coffee chain fill a gap in the coffee product line.
A total of 72% of coffee drinkers have never tried a RTD beverage in the coffee category, Starbucks noted, per IRI Household Panel (2020). Now, it is targeting these customers with beverages that its R&D team helped develop as a result of its research: RTD coffee beverages that are light in calories and sugar.
“The team’s primary focus was to develop lightly sweetened coffee beverages, below 100 calories, without compromising the taste profile,” said Manpreet Cheema, senior product developer on the Starbucks R&D team. “Choosing the best roast profiles and brewing method was key to delivering on a smooth, refreshing sip, and we did months of tastings and consumer tests to make sure we got it just right.”
The base of the Starbucks Cold & Crafted line is cold brew coffee, as this would provide the most “complex, yet balanced profile, with nuances of cocoa on top of a rounded coffee taste,” according to the coffee giant. The R&D team then added flavor profiles that complemented the cold brew well, while fulfilling the product’s goals as set forth by its consumer research.
Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Vanilla, Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Mocha, and Coffee Sweetened Black emerged as the new products, priced under $3; the price point makes them competitive in the RTD coffee space on food retailer shelves.
Starbucks also added Dark Cocoa Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew and Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew, which comes in 11-fluid ounce and 40-fluid ounce bottles.
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