Innovative Flavor in Coffee Industry

By Bingye CHEN

Everyone has their own inclinations for coffee flavors, Italian condensed, Americano, Cappuccino, Latte; people have a wealth of choices. For coffee brands, in order to satisfy the discerning consumers, they have been trying new taste creation. The new taste, new feeling, more brand love.



McCafe: launch a series of new flavor to against the Starbucks

In the recent years, in order to be strong on the coffee business, McCafe continue to launch different new flavors onto the market, focusing on the main element (flavor) of the coffee industry, and also go against their biggest competitor—Starbucks.

Back to 2016, McCafe had already launched a series of new flavor——-McCafe Flavor Shots, This kind of new product is focusing on customized drinks, consumer can choose three kinds of flavor and then mixed into one shot, ‘The shots come in a wide variety of flavors, and are available in sweetened, unsweetened, and sugar-free options’ [1] more like the process of cocktails. The main idea of this product is making everyone can find their own favorite flavor, more customized and more consumer preference is driven.


In March 2018. McCafe has launched a new line of Espresso-based beverages, flavored with chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut. The Iced and Hot Turtle Macchiato, as well as the Iced Turtle Coffee, will hit menus in April and remain for a limited time.

And in November 2018, McCafe announced that they are bringing back the holiday flavor —McCafe Peppermint Mocha, to celebrate the following Christmas Season. ‘The cheerful holiday drink is made with espresso beans that are “sustainably sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms,”[2]. The best part of this drink is it can be tailored made by hot and iced, although in the cold winter you can also choose a cup of iced peppermint mocha for yourself, it depends what your mood is.


source: Starbucks newsroom

Starbucks: Limited New Flavor For Holiday?

In the face of increasingly saturated and homogenous markets, Starbucks has developed their high-end product line——Starbucks Reserve,  to provide consumers with a more distinctive taste experience. Beyond that, they apply more new flavors during the holiday session, to create a fun and limited edition experience.

Halloween Season- Witch’s Brew Frappuccino

“Starbucks loves to celebrate Halloween, and each year our Frappuccino brings something different to the season,”

——Robinson, Starbucks’ beverage development team

In October 2018, The Seattle-based coffee giant announced its Halloween-themed drink, the Witch’s Brew Frappuccino, is now available at participating locations for a limited time while supplies last.

source: Youtube

‘Starbucks says the new blended drink starts with a purple blend of “toad’s breath” which tastes like the orange crème Frappuccino. It has a swirl of “bat warts” added (chia seeds) and is topped with vanilla whipped cream with a dusting of green “lizard scale”powder,“We wanted to create a flavor that you might enjoy at a Halloween party.”Robinson said’[4]


source: Starbucks newsroom

Christmas Season- Colorful New Flavors in Different Countries

Starbucks released four new flavors for Christmas in 2018 on November 1st, which is good news for senior coffee lovers. “We started this season by looking to the past,” Kristy Cameron, of the Starbucks Creative Studio, said in a statement. “Looking back at our heritage, we found something lovely in our own story, with beautiful coffee and flavors that come together to make the season magical.”[5]

While promoting the four major new flavors (Gingerbread, peppermint, eggnog and baked cheese), Starbucks is targeting other new products according to the specific preferences of consumers in different countries.


source: Starbucks newsroom

In Japan, Strawberry Cake Milk, which is one of Japan’s most beloved holiday traditions, made with fluffy sponge cake, whipped cream, and strawberries.


source: Starbucks newsroom

In China, they are launching Snowy Cheese Flavored Latte, ‘A dreamy new holiday beverage made with baked cheese flavored sauce blended into classic espresso and topped with light whipped cream, blueberry flavored sprinkles, and star-shaped crisps.’[6]

In Latin America, ‘Back by popular demand, Cranberry White Chocolate Mocha is the perfect sweet treat to sip during the holiday season. Starbucks signature espresso is combined with freshly steamed milk and luscious white chocolate, then topped with whipped cream, a tart cranberry drizzle and crystallized cranberry sugar.’[6]


source: Starbucks newsroom

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Christmas Brulee Latte has become the new one for this year. ‘A seasonal take on the traditional crème Brulee – creamy eggnog milk is steamed with a rich crème Brulee sauce and mixed with fresh espresso, then finished with a few shakes of Christmas Brulee sprinkles.’[6]

It’s not difficult to see that Starbucks has also taken into account the special taste preferences of local consumers while releasing four general-purpose holiday flavors around the world.



Nescafe——is it a risk to change the flavor?

Many people must be very familiar with the unchanging taste of Nestlé coffee for many years. A recent year the senior players tried to update their classic coffee flavors, to better refresh the brand image to their consumer. However, this is a challenge for consumers who have long been used to the existing tastes, because accepting new things is always uneasy and need a process.

In 2017, Nestle Coffee changed their original taste of coffee. Many consumers were very dissatisfied with this and complained about the national consumer platform that the new taste was unacceptable.


source: internet

‘One life-long fan even compared the taste of the new product, which now has a distinct red lid instead of the old brown one, with ‘dishwater’. Paul, who lives in Stockport, said: “Like many others, I’ve been drinking Nescafé all my life and have always enjoyed the flavor’ [7] Many consumers even petition that Nestlé coffee if can bring old taste back.

However, In the face of consumers’ doubts about new tastes, Nestlé explained that the new tastes are completely developed from the perspective of consumers.

“At Nestle, we continually improve our product experience for our consumers. Consumers told us that while they loved the full flavor of Nescafé Original, they’d love a fuller flavor. Our new recipe captures the fullest flavors and aromas of freshly ground coffee to deliver our fullest flavored Nescafé Original yet.”[7]

Taste is at the heart of the coffee industry’s competitiveness. Whether it’s developing a festive drink or changing an existing taste, the brand should need to fully consider the consumer’s preferences.











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