High protein Super Coffee cuts sugar and chases top competition
The three DeCicco brothers founded Super Coffee in 2015 with the hope of creating a healthy, protein-rich RTD coffee. Jim, Jake and Jordan all played sports in college and found themselves lacking in clean, energizing coffee options, avoiding the popular high-sugar and high-calorie standbys.
They began mixing their own coffee with whey protein and coconut oil and selling it to classmates and teammates. In 2015 they launched the business together, and now have 70 full-time employees and national distribution.
“For us, we never intended to be coffee entrepreneurs,” oldest brother Jim DeCicco told BeverageDaily. “But we realized we weren’t the only ones that were tired and wanted healthier energy.”
Bottled coffee is ubiquitous
The core bottled Super Coffee line includes Original, Vanilla, Hazelnut and Mocha. Each 12oz bottle contains 80 calories, 10g of protein, 200mg of caffeine, 5g fat and 1g carbs. They source organic Colombian coffee and blend with whey protein concentrate, coconut MCT oil and monk fruit.
The DeCiccos started expanding the portfolio within the last year, adding Super Creamer cartons in Original, Vanilla and Hazelnut and Super Espresso cans in Original, Vanilla and Caramel. All products are lactose-free and formulated with MCT oil and without sugar.
The coffees still have a creamy, sweet taste, just with healthier ingredients, Jim said. And with the recent product growth, he shared that Super Coffee recently passed competitor La Colombe in total dollar sales, and is now catching up to Starbucks, Dunkin’ and Monster.
“We’re not hitting people over the head with biohacking or the keto diet or anything like that, we just want to be the affordable, better-for-you option,” he said.
For the autumn season, Super Coffee has been selling a Maple Pumpkin flavor, and will soon introduce a new White Chocolate Peppermint coffee and Gingerbread Eggnog creamer.
This week, two new product SKUs go live on the Super Coffee website, Cold Brew and Triple Shot Espresso. Both are cold brew products formulated with L-Theanine, a green tea extract. The company also plans to launch a K-cup compatible product in the new year.
Jim said the Super Coffee consumer base has evolved in the four years since launching. The brothers initially created it for the college student in mind, who would then continue to drink the products as they grew up.
But they have found that women in their forties are the largest purchasers online. And with more expansion into grocery, the team is “learning that bottled coffee is ubiquitous and there is no particular audience for it as a category.”
“What we’re seeing is, even though people want healthy options and people are getting more concerned with sustainability, [they] still want stuff that tastes good, and they’re not willing to sacrifice the taste of their products for health. People don’t want healthy things that don’t taste good,” Jim said.
Super Coffee products can be purchased on the company website and at nationwide retailers like Target, Whole Foods, CVS and Meijer, primarily concentrated on the east coast.