Nestlé is embarking on a £24m relaunch of its entire Nescafé coffee range, The Grocer can reveal.

The company will kick off its campaign by reformulating its 71-year old Nescafé Original brand in a bid to rejuvenate flagging sales. It had increased the number of coffee beans to create a more intense flavour and reinforce the brand's position as the UK's top-selling hot beverage, it said..

The relaunch, Original's second in seven years, would be supported by a five week, £3m through-the-line campaign communicating the stronger flavour and including a new TV campaign, press, outdoor and PoS. Packaging would communicate the new flavour and marketing would feature the new strapline of More Beans, More Taste, it added.

"This is the exciting initial stage of a massive £24m investment in Nescafé in 2009," said Matt Hall, MD of Nestlé's food and beverage division. "The campaign will reinforce the iconic status of the market-leading brand and reflect our continued commitment to instant coffee."

The extra beans meant the new Nescafé Original would command a higher price tag, admitted Hall, although he would not reveal how much a 200g jar, which currently costs £3.87, would increase to.

Luke Vincent, consultant at Dragon, commended Nescafé's relaunch as a strategically sound move in the current recessionary economic climate.

"In a recession too many brands are tempted to cut investment," he said. "The smart thing to do is invest in building core brand strengths, especially when others are devaluing brand equity with promotions.Nestlé is doing the right thing by building equity around key benefits such as taste."

Sales of Nescafé Original dipped 0.1% to £142.7m in the year to October 2008, according to IRI.

Meanwhile, Asda has delisted all 200g super-premium instant coffee brands such as Carte Noir from shelves "as part of a move to create best value for customers".