Douwe Egberts is hoping

to get consumers to switch from standard instant coffee and powdered speciality drinks to its new liquid coffee range, which promises a vastly improved drinking experience.

Called Café Switch, the newcomer is an ambient liquid coffee that comes in squeezable sachets for a drink Douwe Egberts said closely replicated that which is bought in cafés.

Available in all of the major multiples from next month, in True Kick, White Innocence and Creamy Pleasure varieties, it can

be added to hot water to make a traditional coffee

or latte or to cold water to make an iced coffee. It is available in packs of six, which retail at £1.99, and singles, which cost 45p.

MD Grant Rosewarne said the launch would reinvigorate the coffee category, which he described as struggling from a lack of innovation, and would bridge the gap between instant coffee and roast

and ground.

"We need to turn a

slow category into one of

dynamic growth. We are putting a lot of effort behind our NPD plans."

According to figures from TNS, standard instant is still by far the largest category

in the coffee market but is only showing value growth of 1.8% year-on-year (52 w/e 18 June 2006). In contrast, instant speciality coffee

is the fastest-growing

coffee category, up 18.7%

to £90m, driven by shoppers buying into the category more frequently and

spending more.

Douwe Egberts is no stranger to the liquid coffee market. In 1998 it launched a chilled product called Cafinesse, which Rosewarne admitted failed to take off because it couldn't be kept with the rest of the hot


However, he said he was confident that the ambient nature of Café Switch would overcome this problem and would create a booming liquid coffee category.

"Coffees that are

made with powder have

a powdery taste, but you don't get this with a liquid product. I predict it will

be much larger than the powdered speciality

segment in the future."