Prepared Foods showcases new ready to drink coffees and teas debuting in January 2020.


The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, used the 2019 National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show to introduce a range of items including ready-to-drink coffee and tea beverages.

“Variety and choice are increasingly important to shoppers, and nowhere is that truer than in the convenience retail channel,” said James Ford, vice president of Category Strategic Advisory, Coca-Cola North America. “As a total beverage company, we are introducing new drinks based on what we know consumers are craving. From sparkling soft drinks to energy, from tea to juice and from cold brew to dairy, our innovation on display at NACS includes something for everyone and every occasion.”

New offerings included Dunkin' Cold Brew Coffee, an extension of the Dunkin’ RTD portfolio. Available in two, lightly sweetened flavors—Caramel Black and Midnight Black—Dunkin’ Cold Brew builds on consumer demand for a smoother, less-acidic coffee with less sugar and fewer calories. 

Simply Tea is a new line of great-tasting, brewed black tea made with not-from-concentrate juice, with no added preservatives, colors or flavors. It debuts this month in three varieties: Simply Tea with Lemon, with Raspberry and with Peach. 

Peace Tea, a line of refreshing iced tea with trendy packaging and a strong brand edge, also introduced three new flavors to its lineup: Hello Mango and Razzleberry Zer-OH. The new flavors are launching in March 2020.


Califia Farms, Los Angeles, introduced shelf-stable Nitro Draft Lattes with Oatmilk in a can. Officials say rich, creamy, feel good energy boost joins the brand's already popular line of non-dairy Cold Brew Coffees with Almondmilk and Coconut Cream.

The new self-stable Nitro Draft Lattes come in four flavors: Black & White, XX Espresso, Salted Caramel, and Mocha, and are made with allergen-friendly, gluten-free Oatmilk. It is non-GMO, kosher and vegan and is free of nuts, allergens, soy, gluten, carrageenan, BPA, dairy and preservatives. While best served cold, it does not need to be refrigerated until opened.  

The shelf-stable 7-ounce Nitro Draft Lattes are available for $2.99/can on, and in core US markets.

As with all Califia Farms coffee, the new items are made with 100% premium Arabica Beans sourced via Direct Trade from partners in South and Central America and East Africa, with complete transparency across the entire blockchain-enabled supply chain. The premium beans are then roasted at the Califia Coffee Co. lab locally in Los Angeles.

"We combine these premium beans with our new Oatmilk, a delicious partner for coffee, which froths beautifully,” notes Brian Lovejoy, general manager of coffee at Califia Farms. “The product is made even creamier with the nitrogen widget technology, resulting in a unique cold brew experience that keeps you 'feel good' energized all day."


Stratus Group Beverage, Los Angeles, said its KÖE Kombucha, a leading shelf stable organic kombucha in a can, added new flavors to its product line and introducing a new lower calorie and lower sugar formula. The recently added brews—Strawberry Lemonade and Lemon Lime—started hitting store shelves this fall.

KÖE's new formula has just 35 calories and 8g sugar per 12-ounce can. It balances fruit-forward flavor with organic sweetness from Stevia and erythritol. Officials say the brand also revamped its product labels to reflect their latest better-for-you recipe, featuring a "packed with probiotics" color band, a "35 calories per can" badge, and the official non-GMO Project Verified logo.

"At KÖE, we constantly seek innovative ways to create the best products for our fans, which has allowed our brand to remain at the forefront of the ever-changing kombucha market," said KÖE Chief Strategy Officer Louisa Lawless. "Consumers want kombucha flavors that are approachable, so we're especially excited to introduce KÖE in Strawberry Lemonade and Lemon Lime. KÖE Kombucha is for the people who want to make better choices in their everyday lives, but who don't want to sacrifice flavor. Our new recipe delivers all the health benefits of kombucha in an easy-to-drink can that's packed with probiotics and organic ingredients."

All of KÖE's vibrant, fruit-forward flavors, including Raspberry Dragonfruit, Mango, Blueberry Ginger, Strawberry Lemonade, and Lemon Lime, will integrate the updated formula. All five KÖE flavors are vegan, gluten-free, certified kosher and made with black tea, natural fruit flavors, no artificial ingredients, and 100% organic cane sugar.

KÖE Kombucha is available in more than 3,000 stores nationwide, including select 7-11, Publix, Fresh Market, Earthfare, and Stater Brothers stores, and on


Fundamental Beverages, LLC, Charlotte, N.C., says its Newground Hard Dutch Lattes are premium, ready–to–drink malt beverages infused with real coffee or tea, decadent Dutch cream and alcohol. Imported from Holland, the beverages are available in two unique and indulgent flavors: Hard Dutch Cafe Latte and Hard Dutch Chai Latte. 

"Inspired by the Dutch philosophy of living every day to its full potential, we jumped headfirst into developing a brand that breaks new ground and created an entirely new RTD category," says Phil Rooney, CEO of Newground. "Newground Hard Dutch Lattes are versatile enough to be enjoyed anytime, from a post-night-out brunch to a much-needed afternoon kickstart or end of day sweet satisfaction. We're excited to share a taste of Holland with the US and introduce hard lattes to the market."

Rooney says Newground uses nitro technology for a perfect pour and smooth taste. With rich coffee flavors mellowed by a smooth sweetness, officials say the Cafe Latte is crafted with caffeine to provide an energizing jolt. They describe the caffeine–free Chai Latte as a “sweet treat in a can, balancing vanilla notes, black tea and natural spices, all complemented by the tantalizing zing of alcohol.”

At 5% ABV, Newground is a sessionable beverage to be enjoyed on its own or mixed with a harder spirit. The drinks are at select retailers in Georgia and Pennsylvania including Circle K and Publix. Newground can be purchased as singles and four–packs of 6.76 fluid-ounce cans (SRP $2.99 – $3.49 and $11.99 – $13.99, respectively). Newground will continue to roll out in select states.


Kraft Heinz said it partnered with Diageo to develop BAILEYS Original Irish Cream flavor profiles in non-alcoholic coffee beverages. The line will include BAILEYS Ready-to-drink Cold Brew in cans, as well as BAILEYS Roast & Ground Coffee bags and K-Cup pods.

The BAILEYS Ready-to-drink Cold Brew will launch with Irish Cream and Salted Caramel flavors with new flavors hitting shelves in 2020. Suggested retail price is $2.39 per drink

“BAILEYS is not only the world’s #1 cream liqueur, it’s also one of the most desired adult treats,” said Declan Hassett, senior licensing manager, Diageo. “From ice cream to chocolates, we’ve extended the brand into new indulgent categories but there is nothing closer to the brand than a flavorful cup of coffee. With this partnership, now all adults can treat themselves with the perfect cup of BAILEYS Ready-to-drink coffee in a can.”

“We’re excited to bring BAILEYS to the coffee aisle in non-alcoholic everyday formats,” added Tina Bletnitsky, senior associate brand manager, Kraft Heinz Coffee. “Consumers have been adding BAILEYS Irish Cream to their coffee for years so this partnership is a natural fit for those looking for a delicious coffee experience.”

BAILEYS Ready-to-drink Cold Brew cans are available at grocers, mass merchandise and on popular e-commerce sites.

What’s Behind the Buzz?

Nielsen says ready-to-drink coffee category annual sales are up 16% to $3 billion thanks to innovative ingredients, artisanal brewing techniques and new flavors.

Beyond the buzz created around last fall’s early release of Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, there is something big brewing in the US coffee market. Data tracker The Nielsen Company (US) LLC, New York, N.Y., says American’s consumption habits are shifting across the beverage industry, and consumers are increasingly seeking their next caffeine fix from chilled, on-the-go coffee options over energy drinks and carbonated soft drinks. 

Nielsen data shows that the ready-to-drink coffee category is hot. In fact, dollar sales within the latest 52 weeks (ending July 27, 2019) netted $3 billion, up 16% versus a year ago. And a steady stream of innovation is fueling this dollar sales growth. 

Serving Up New Roasts

From cold brew to mushroom-based coffee, innovation is brewing across the coffee category. To quench America’s thirst for their cup of joe, manufacturers big and small have invested in this space, bringing interesting ingredients and flavors to shelves and highlighting artisanal brewing techniques. 

According to Nielsen Innovation Measurement data, since August 2018, 1,019 new coffee products have been launched to the US market. That’s 30% more than the same period in 2017. And ready-to-drink options are driving much of this growth. In fact, within the past year, 158 new ready-to-drink coffee offerings (up 14% year-over-year) have hit shelves, with 89 new cold brews and an additional 30 iced coffee varieties brought to market. 

Innovation within the coffee space is even blurring category lines and encroaching into the alcohol beverage category, making way for new creative offerings like Pabst Blue Ribbon hard coffee and Jaegermeister’s new cold brew coffee. 

And with the continued disruption of cannabis, Nielsen anticipates that cannabis-infused coffee also could become a popular contender in the foreseeable future. New data from Nielsen’s “Thinking Beyond the Buzz CBD Study (US) 2019” showed that 13% of consumers surveyed stated that they would use CBD-infused coffee beans or ground coffee over the next 12 months if it were available. 

Coffee Creamers: Fun with Flavors

Growth in the coffee category isn’t just coming from ready-to-drink options. The emergence of fun flavors—such as white chocolate, toasted marshmallow and sticky cinnamon bun—certainly have sweetened sales in the coffee creamer category. 

In fact, growth in the US coffee creamer market has actually outpaced that of traditional packaged coffee sales. During the past four years (ending June 29, 2019), US sales of creams and non-dairy creamers rose an average of 2.8% each year, compared with packaged coffee sales that rose an average of just 0.8% during the same time.

However, the latest Nielsen Innovation Measurement data shows that there has been a 42% decrease in the number of coffee cream innovations that were brought to the market in the past year, indicating that the market may have reached a flavor overload.

That said, ingredient and format innovations continue to push the category forward. Today, new creamer forms are keeping consumers interested—such as nitrogen-infused creamers that are enabling at-home coffee drinkers to further elevate their coffee experience and dairy alternative creamers.  

Beyond the Bean

Nielsen also finds that seasonal coffee flavor that has evolved into a store-wide trend. What started as an innovative coffee flavor—pumpkin spice—sparked a flavor craze that now defines an entire season. Populating shelves across a multitude of categories, pumpkin spice inspired products have grown to become a half a billion dollar industry. In fact, in the last year alone, pumpkin-flavored products across grocery brought in $511 million dollars, which is an increase of 4.7% from a year ago. 

So while the arrival of pumpkin spice season has people talking, all eyes should be on the impressive growth happening within the US coffee market. For brands and retailers, inspiration for the next big trend across categories could be in their morning cup.