Cold coffee is on the rise and ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee is a significant category, yet 72 percent of households1 have never tried a RTD coffee product. Starbucks newest RTD innovation, Starbucks® Cold & Crafted, was developed to appeal to this very customer with their preferences at the core.
To better understand what these customers are seeking, Starbucks conducted its biggest body of research yet and the findings were clear. These coffee drinkers want a smooth coffee taste with just a splash of milk and flavor. Plus, no preservatives, lower sugar and calories than other options on shelves, and an accessible price point. Starbucks research and development (R&D) team then set out to develop a product that delivers on just that.
“The team’s primary focus was to develop lightly sweetened coffee beverages, below 100 calories, without compromising the taste profile,” said senior product developer on Starbucks R&D team, Manpreet Cheema. “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 team opted for cold brew coffee to provide a complex, yet balanced profile, with nuances of cocoa on top of a rounded coffee taste, which is accentuated with a splash of milk and light sweetness. Consumer feedback also revealed that cold brew has become increasingly appealing to those not currently drinking RTD coffee. They then chose the flavor profiles inspired from classic cold coffee beverages from Starbucks to provide a unique experience in the RTD format.
The result was three new flavors – Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Vanilla, Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Mocha, and Coffee Sweetened Black. Starbucks Cold & Crafted is the perfect addition to a daily coffee routine, whether it is the start of a day or an afternoon pick-me-up. Find it for a suggested retail price (SRP) of less than $3 per bottle, lower than most ready-to-drink coffee options on the market, where you buy groceries, at gas stations and local convenience stores.
Consumers can find three additional new Starbucks cold brew choices available where groceries are sold. Dark Cocoa Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew expands the successful Starbucks store-inspired platform that launched in grocery in 2020. Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew, available in both 11- and 40-fluid ounces, provides a RTD version of the fan-favorite flavor of the popular beverage in Starbucks stores by the same name.
Starbucks and PepsiCo established the North American Coffee Partnership (NACP) in 1994, with the 25+ year partnership which continues to bring innovative ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages to customers across the U.S., including Nitro Cold Brew in a can, Multi-Serve Iced Coffee, Starbucks Cold & Crafted, Bottled Frappuccino® chilled coffee drink, Starbucks Doubleshot® beverages and more. The NACP has grown to more than $2.4 billion in retail sales, and experienced 11 percent sales growth in 2020.
*IRI Household Panel (2020)