carte noir instant coffee jar

Mondelez is relaunching its ailing Carte Noire wholebean instant coffee with larger granules - less than a year after a similar move angered fans of the supplier’s Kenco Millicano brand.

From next month, the company is dropping the Carte Noire Instinct sub-brand, which has fallen 19.5% by value year on year to £5m [Nielsen 52 w/e 11 October 2014], and is relaunching it as Carte Noire Wholebean Instant. It will now have black packaging in line with the rest of the Carte Noire soluble range.

Carte Noire Wholebean Instant will have larger granules than Instinct as a result of a manufacturing process Mondelez said was more eco-friendly. The company added the product would taste the same.

Earlier this year, shoppers turned to social media to vent their anger after Mondelez introduced larger granules to Millicano. Comments on Kenco’s Facebook page included: “You had such a unique product, now it’s just bog standard”.

But complaints have not harmed value sales of Millicano, which have risen 5.6% year on year [IRI 6 m/e 8 November 2014 vs 2013]. And Mondelez cited Kantar Worldpanel data showing repeat rates remained the highest in the wholebean instant category.

“Despite initial complaints from some consumers, we are happy to report that sales of Millicano remain as strong as they were before the change,” said a spokesman. “That’s because while the coffee may look different, it still tastes the same. We are confident this will be the case with Carte Noire Wholebean Instant.”