The line will debut three variants: classic latte, caramel latte and black Americano. Products will hit shelves in Great Britain later this month, followed by Poland and China (the markets have been chosen as countries where Costa already has a strong presence).
Coca-Cola says the new range is ‘set to further move Costa Coffee to becoming the world’s number one coffee business’.
Coca-Cola says the launch further signifies the broadening of its portfolio: from Coca-Cola Energy and Signature Mixers and Aquarius earlier this year.
It says a point of difference is a reduced calorie count – claiming a 30% reduction in sugar compared to most other RTD coffees in Great Britain and a calorie count of between 95 top 120 calories per 250ml can. Each drink has the equivalent of a double shot of espresso.
The coffee uses the same Mocha Italia Signature Blend coffee beans used in all of Costa’s coffee drinks – ‘providing consumers with an authentic coffee experience with a real caffeine hit’. Coffee beans are Rainforest Alliance Certified as per all other Costa coffees.
- Classic Latte – a combination of aromatic Espresso and creamy milk
- Caramel Latte – a slightly sweet blend of rich Espresso, milk and caramel syrup
- Black Americano – intense Espresso softened with a little water for a 'smooth milk-free finish'
In Great Britain, Costa Coffee RTD will be available nationwide and supported by a marketing campaign including digital, PR, out of home and sampling.
Coca-Cola completed its acquisition of Costa in January this year. Jennifer Mann, Senior Vice President and President of Global Ventures for Coca-Cola said the speedy RTD launch demonstrates the power of the partnership: which "combines the marketing expertise, global scale and distribution credentials of the Coca-Cola system with Costa Coffee’s expertise and capabilities in coffee".
RTD and beyond
Coca-Cola completed its $4.9bn (£3.9bn) acquisition of Costa Coffee earlier this year: putting Coca-Cola in charge of the world’s second largest coffee chain (behind Starbucks). Costa was founded in London in 1971 and today has operations in more than 30 countries, including China, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.
The acquisition of Costa helps Coca-Cola spring into the global coffee category: which is growing at around 6% a year and is valued at around $0.5 trillion. It also assists Coca-Cola on its mission to move beyond soda and grow its presence in other beverage categories.
Speaking earlier this year, James Quincey, CEO, Coca-Cola, said the launch of the RTD product would be the start of broader plans for its coffee platform.
““We see a great opportunity to bring Costa ready-to-drink to the marketplace,” he said in the company’s April earning’s call.
“And then - as for how we foresee the rollout of the coffee platform, not just the ready-to-drink, but the vending and being a beverage partner with beans and machines - that we'll come back to later in the year as we have time to really solidify the expansion plans with the management of Costa.”
Coca-Cola’s emerging coffee portfolio already includes Georgia Coffee in Japan and some coffee drinks in the US with partners.