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Coffee broadens its appeal with fruit


Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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The pairing of coffee and juice might sound unusual but it has the potential to attract more consumers, especially the younger generation, to the coffee industry in Asia-Pacific.

The unique combination of coffee beverages and fruit flavours has taken flight globally. The US is currently the driver behind coffee and ready-to-drink (RTD) iced coffee launches featuring fruit and fruit products as ingredients. According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), the US accounts for 26% of all fruit-incorporated coffee products launched globally between July 2015 and June 2019. Furthermore, Mintel research reveals that almost one in five US consumers say that they are interested in RTD cold coffee with juices and lemonade.

Appealing to the young

The potential for fruit-flavoured coffee to attract Asia-Pacific’s younger generation is reflected in Mintel research. Over one in four urban Chinese coffee drinkers aged 20-24 say that they prefer coffee that tastes less bitter, while the same percentage of urban Thai consumers aged 18-23 say that they will pay a premium for products that bring them fun or joy—which these innovative drinks have the potential to do.

Spotting this opportunity with fruity coffee, Nestlé, through its Nescafé brand, has introduced fruit-flavoured instant coffee in the Asia-Pacific region.

This year, Nescafé launched fruit-flavoured RTD coffee in Indonesia to engage younger consumers as well as non-coffee drinkers. The product taps into yuzu and other tropical flavours to offer consumers a coffee with refreshing fruity taste. Nestlé calls the blending of coffee with fruit a ‘mashup concept’. The goal is to create something new and unexpected to attract the attention of young consumers. Nestlé hopes to strengthen Nescafé as a coffee brand that is close to young consumers’ hearts.

The brand has also introduced fruity instant coffee in markets like China and Malaysia. In China, Nescafé’s range of fruity coffee, endorsed by 17-year-old Chinese singer Justin Huang, features flavours including peach, pineapple-coconut and green apple.

Establishing fruity coffee’s place in the retail market

To promote the fruit-flavoured coffee concept further, coffee players in Asia-Pacific can add sparkling water to offer consumers greater indulgence. Similar to carbonated soft drinks, carbonated RTD coffee provides a light refreshing taste and can be consumed as a treat.

Currently, packaged fruit-flavoured sparkling coffee is still new in the region but innovations in the foodservice sector can be a source of inspiration.

In fact, the overall foodservice industry, including coffee shops and milk tea chains, is a great source of inspiration for companies and brands in the packaged coffee sector when developing and innovating new fruit-flavoured coffee products.

Sweet-tasting avocado coffee, for one, has established a name for itself in Indonesia and is now part of the regular menu in leading coffee establishments like Excelso and smaller specialty coffee shops such as Kedai Kopi Kulo and Monks.

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