Nestlé’s coffee ritual starts with a splash of innovation
From premium cold brew to coffee shops, we’re always looking for the next big thing
My coffee ritual is a bit unusual. I drink coffee all day long — but not first thing in the morning. I have my first cup mid-morning, then another cup after lunch, a cup or two in between lunch and dinner, and usually one more after dinner. And no matter what time of day, I always take my coffee black.
Throughout the world, coffee drinkers have specific routines that range from brewing at home to visiting neighborhood coffee shops. They might prefer it iced or extra hot, or vary by the day. An extra shot of espresso, or maybe it’s decaf. People drink it black, like I do, or add sugar and a splash of creamer.
Coffee is a deeply personal beverage, with a near infinite number of ways it can be enjoyed. At Nestlé, we’re committed to helping enhance the coffee experience for every kind of coffee lover for years to come. To do so, we’re rolling out new products worldwide and are constantly looking for new ways to innovate.
One major area of focus for us is ready-to-drink coffee because consumers crave it, and this category is on a strong growth trajectory. A recent analysis found the ready-to-drink coffee market doubled between 2011 and 2016, reaching USD $2.87 billion annually. That growth is expected to continue, with Euromonitor identifying ready-to-drink as among the “fastest growing categories.”
At Nestlé, we’ve launched a number of new products this year to capitalize on the ready-to-drink trend. Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss launched a line of ready-to-drink cold brew coffee across the U.S. Nescafé Malaysia also unveiled a ready-to-drink cold brew line this year, becoming one of the first brands to do so in that country. The coffee, available with or without milk, is brewed solely using coffee beans and water, without preservatives or additives.
And in South Korea, we introduced soluble Nescafé cold brew. These new beverages let consumers savor the smooth taste of cold brew at home, for times when they might not be able to make a trip to a coffee shop.
Cold brew has steadily been making its way around the planet after first entering the American coffee scene in 2010, when cafes in the Pacific Northwest and trend-setting Austin, Texas began serving it. The process is its own ritual. Beans for cold brew coffee are steeped in cold water for 12 to 24 hours. This creates a bold, slightly sweet cup of coffee compared with traditional iced coffee, which can be bitter or more acidic.
From these early cafes, cold brew spread to the coastal United States. It’s now popular across the country and continues to gain steam worldwide, with retail sales in the U.S. hitting an estimated USD $7.9 million and consumption increasing substantially. 10% of Americans now report that they drank a cold brew coffee in the last week.
The explosive rise of cold brew shows that coffee innovation can happen off the beaten track, like in those specialty cafes, before reaching larger markets. This trend is one of the reasons we’re most excited about welcoming both Chameleon Cold Brew and Blue Bottle Coffee to the Nestlé fold.
The two companies, headquartered in Austin and San Francisco, respectively, are at the forefront of coffee development, experimenting with new flavors and options. In acquiring Chameleon and purchasing a majority stake in Blue Bottle, Nestlé has become a major player in cold brew and has a front-row seat to developing coffee trends. This gives us the edge in bringing new, on-trend products to market before our competitors.
Chameleon Cold Brew and Blue Bottle Coffee benefit from our partnerships, too. Thanks to our size, we’re able to get their products to a broader market, so more people can enjoy these tastes — no matter where they live. And it’s a two-way street: Just as we learn from them, these companies can learn from Nestlé’s deep coffee knowledge. We’ve been producing and studying this beverage for generations. We’re excited to bring all of this expertise together to serve generations of coffee-lovers.
Just this week, we took a major step to strengthen our coffee portfolio by closing our deal with Starbucks to sell the iconic brand’s packaged coffees and teas around the world. The deal combines premium Starbucks coffee with our own extensive coffee expertise, global scale, and market presence.
Working with these new partners and innovating our strong brands gives us a chance to meet the needs of all coffee consumers, whether they are at home, in a restaurant or at work. Whether it’s plant-based creamers, premium instant coffee, roast & ground coffee, or espresso brewed at home, we’re focused on helping people have their drink, their way.
Nestlé has taken significant steps to ensure that our expertise, and our products, will enhance the coffee rituals of people around the world. We understand that coffee lovers like me take this drink seriously and want that coffee fix just the way we like it — whatever the time of day.
Passionate About Coffee?
There’s no better time to join our coffee journey. Take a look at opportunities with Nestlé’s Starbucks brand teams in Seattle.