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Brian Morgan and Richard Haffner, the Global Beverages Team at Euromonitor International, discuss how well consumed hot drinks such as coffee and tea are not advancing in the products themselves, but in the way they are delivered to the consumer.  One example of packaging innovation is in a product called Bistrotea, which is packaged in single-serve perforated sachets, which the consumer stirs into hot water. The advantage of this difference in packaging, Morgan points out, is it’s convenience, time-saving quality, and innovation. Although the tea itself is relatively the same as other teas on the market, it’s unique packaging design makes it interesting to consumers.

Another unique design was recently launched by Mate Listo Taragui in Argentina. The Todo en Uno is a premade cup of tea that is completely mixed and ready to heat and drink. The convenience aspect, says Morgan, will add value to the consumer looking for a familiar experience with less time involved.

These types of designs are meant to target consumers who already purchase these types of drinks, but are looking for convenience and may consume them more often because of these designs.

A prime example of packaging innovation in coffee is the Starbucks Via, an instant coffee with a proprietary brewing process that Starbucks maintains as higher quality. The Via comes in a single serve sachet, which was new to instant coffee at the point of launch. Via hoped to extend the range of the Starbucks brand to outside the cafe.

Via is in nearly every grocery outlet and has grown to offer:

  • decaffeinated coffee
  • iced coffee

The iced coffee version was launched in response to other outlets starting to serve Frappuccino-type beverages, including McDonald’s McCafe, Dunkin Donuts, and other fast food brands.

Haffner ends stating that Via’s superior taste claim is supported by its patented manufacturing technology; not just the Starbucks name. This makes it difficult for other manufactures to come out with brands that claim to be of the same quality. Starbucks can then charge for this claim; toting Via as not an instant coffee, but a coffee that has fresh ground properties and happens to be easy to prepare.

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