Elmhurst enters crowded RTD latte category and teases smoothie bases
Elmhurst is known for its stacked, diverse portfolio of non-dairy beverages. Drinks and creamers of varying bases and sizes are available from the New York-based dairy-turned-plant company. And it planned to make a big splash this year at Expo West.
But after the trade show was canceled last week amid public health concerns from the coronavirus, many brands planning to launch new products at the event were thrown for a loop. One of Elmhurst’s launches will be slightly delayed, while the rest are on track.
Lattes and smoothies
New this month is Elmhurst’s first jump into the RTD coffee and tea space. The Cacao and Flash Brew are coffee-based, while the Matcha and Golden are tea-based. Each 11oz carton contains about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee (95mg), half the sugar (6g) compared to other RTD lattes, and twice the protein.
A feature of the drinks is the ‘flash-brewed’ process they are made with. Peter Truby, CMO at Elmhurst, told DairyReporter it’s a mashup between regular brewing and cold brewing; the products are brewed hot and then flash chilled, which retains the full-rounded notes found in hot coffee.
The lattes also feature bright, colored packaging that is a departure from Elmhurst’s classic white cartons. Since the drinks enter a new and more crowded market for Elmhurst, Truby said they want the labels to stand out from the competition.
Also meant to be launched at Expo West were the Superfood Smoothie Bases. Like the name suggests, the product is designed to be used as the liquid base for smoothies, boasting healthy and functional ingredients. They are expected to fully launch this summer.
The 32oz multi-serves contain 10g of plant protein per serving, and each will make up to five smoothies. The Kale blend combines a half serving of kale along with an oat and hemp base, with 25g of whole grains and no added sugar.
The Cacao blend has a base of hazelnut and almond and 22mg of theobromine, which is the natural caffeine found in cocoa. It has 50 mg of caffeine per serving and no added sugar. The Turmeric Ginger blend has the oat and hemp base with 25g of whole grains, 16mg of curcumin and no added sugar.
“Our new Smoothie Bases are packed with superfoods that fuel your body and keep you going all day. We are excited to launch the Super Base line as there is nothing like it currently on the market and it provides the perfect liquid base for smoothies,” Truby said.
Most Elmhurst products are found at natural and traditional US grocers, like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Wegmans, Bristol Farms, Gelson’s, Publix, Fairway Market and Shaws.
Creamers and single-serves
Last month Elmhurst announced a new line of oat-based creamer alternatives, as a follow-up from the hemp creamers it launched at Expo West in 2019. Unsweetened, Hazelnut, French Vanilla and Chai Spice will be permanent flavors, while seasonal flavors Apple Pie Spice, Gingerbread and Lavender Vanilla will roll out in limited quantities in the future.
They contain five ingredients and 1g of sugar per serving. Truby said the last year’s hemp product has had a niche audience so far, and the Elmhurst team wanted to introduce something with a broader appeal. The oat creamer alternatives contain a bit of hemp cream.
Finally, Elmhurst has also been expanding its collection of flavored, single serve oat beverages. At the Winter Fancy Food Show in January, a Blueberry variety debuted and Truby said it received great feedback.
It joins Original, Chocolate and Vanilla in 11oz cartons, each of which have 28g of whole grain and 5g of added sugar. Truby notes that this makes them a good option as a meal or snack replacement.
Elmhurst plans to continue to innovate and diversify in the US non-dairy beverage space, simply because demand continues to grow.
Truby said, “We want to be leading this whole plant-based category, not trying to follow it. And to do that, you’ve got to move very quickly.”