Coffee gets a boost at-home and on-the-go

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

All the ingredients used in Coffee Booster are vitamin or herb based, without any flavor for easy incorporation.
All the ingredients used in Coffee Booster are vitamin or herb based, without any flavor for easy incorporation.

Related tags Coffee functional beverage Functional drinks Functional ingredients Collagen

Premium ‘boosters’ and functional add-ons have found a place in smoothie chains, and now they’re headed for coffee. Canada-based Coffee Booster wants flavorless function to be a new step in morning coffee routines.

Founder Chris Tester saw an opportunity in the boost market that was being underutilized in smoothies, often a special occasion drink. He figured that if he could develop the right liquid formula, he would be able to disrupt the daily coffee market at home and in cafes.

Coffee Booster launched in Canada in 2017 and the US in 2018 with five varieties of flavorless, functional boosters--Collagen, Mind, Immunity, Multivitamin and Antioxidant. Each is packaged in either 50 serving or 12 serving bottles, and the liquid supplement can be stirred into hot beverages (around 1 teaspoon of Coffee Booster per cup of coffee).

A 'nutritional pick-me-up'

Tester told BeverageDaily that all the ingredients used in Coffee Booster are vitamin or herb based, without any flavor for easy incorporation. He said that the functional benefits won’t ‘mess up’ the coffee routine, just make it healthier.

The Multivitamin is all-purpose, with benefits for men and women, the Mind assists cognitive wellness and focus, the Immunity is to fight off cold and flu, the Antioxidant contains green tea leaves and Vitamin C and the Collagen comes from grass-fed American beef and is the best seller of the five boosters.

Coffee Booster is available online and in 4,000 retailers across Canada and the US, like GNC, Rexall, Bulk Barn, Hy-Vee and regional health food stores.

Coffee as an anchor

Tester believes that boosters are a developing category that will become part of the beverage mainstream as consumers are increasingly health-conscious. He wants it to be a seamless addition in coffee, just another step like cream and sugar.

And even though these boosters can be mixed into any drink, Tester thought it was important to pick one avenue and stick with that messaging for his first launch, for fear of it getting lost among other health food products.

“If you tell people they can add it to anything, they will add it to nothing and it will end up in cupboard next to their multivitamin pills that they probably forget to take. We chose coffee because it’s an anchor that people consume every day,”​ he said.

Right now the brand is working a two-prong marketing push to get Coffee Booster into grocery chains and sell it direct-to-consumer, but also to forge partnerships with cafes and coffee shops to get it on the menu. When first constructing the idea, he saw the liquid boosters as ideal for flavor pumps already present at cafes.

Tester is also working on new products and applications for other popular beverages like tea and smoothies, as well as an MCT oil variety and an energy booster.

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