“I feel very fortunate to have a brand like STōK, which is frankly on the leading edge of the growth ambition for the organization, and the organization is certainly falling in line with allowing for production ... or anything that allows us to service the demand that exists in the market even better. I have very high ambitions for this brand in particular, and this year has been a very exciting one for STōK.”
The coffeeshop at-home trend continues
RTD cold brew coffee is relatively new to the market and provides an opportunity to innovate around flavors and occasions, Polka noted. This year, STōK launched its espresso blend and added its darkest roast level, which has been "incremental to the portfolio," she added.
"STōK is very well positioned in terms of where we sit in the category and what's trending in ready-to-drink," Polka said. "Ready-to-drink coffee is not brand new, [but] in the world of CPG [it] is still pretty new. Coffee consumption at home is something that's been happening for many, many decades, whereas cold coffee really emerged in home only pretty recently relative to most spaces."
Danone is keenly watching the increased demand for customizable coffee beverages at home, spurred by consumer behaviors during the pandemic, Polka noted.
“We, of course, [are staying] on top of coffeehouse trends, and I certainly expect that you'll see the brand expand into additional flavors and moments throughout the year as well. With our full portfolio of creamers and coffees, we certainly have the ability to achieve the goal of attaching ourselves to emerging consumer trends wherever and whenever loyal consumers may come to any one of our brands.”
Danone North America earlier this year invested $65m into a new bottling plant in Jacksonville, Fla., to help meet the demand for its STōK brand and its plant-based creamers.
“Being able to supply a business ... it's quite challenging, and we have supplied the business in spades. So, it feels like we're really humming along on this business and foresee a very, very bright future, including ensuring that we have the production capabilities to keep up with demand.”
STōK, International Delight taps into demand for seasonal flavors
Danone North America also is meeting demand for seasonal coffee flavors with its STōK and International Delight brands, Polka said.
“We're finding this space where there's sort of an early holiday season, and then a later holiday season, that is the reality of how people think about the season."
For this fall and winter holiday season, STōK re-released its Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew flavor, followed by its Peppermint Mocha for the winter season. Additionally, International Delight has partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises for a second year for a line of Grinch-themed creamers, including a Peppermint Mocha Zero Sugar Creamer, a RTD Peppermint Mocha Iced Coffee, and Peppermint Mocha on-the-go creamer singles.
“International Delight is on a mission to ensure there are delightful offerings in every cup of coffee, especially during the holiday season. We are thrilled to once again partner with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring back the magic of the holidays with our holiday-flavored creamers, and new ready-to-drink International Delight Peppermint Mocha Iced Coffee, which feature the nostalgia of the iconic Grinch story,” Kallie Goodwin, VP of marketing for International Delight, shared in a prepared statement.