?Percol rushed the first Guatemalan coffee crop down the mountains in June this year to market it as a coffee equivalent to Beaujolais Nouveau. The Fairtrade and organic brand's New Harvest Guatemala uses Arabica beans grown at an altitude of 1,500 metres to 2,000 metres to increase the intensity of flavours. Like wine, Percol's range of coffees aims to capture the 'terroir' of the country from which they originate.
The Spanish Hot Chocolate Company brought Spanish Chocolate to the UK earlier this year. The luxuriously smooth hot chocolate drink has the thickness of light syrup and it is described as being perfect for dipping pastries and fresh fruit in. The drink is made by adding hot milk and, once it is prepared, it is described as a 'melted chocolate bar in a cup', and it is even thick enough to eat with a spoon. The drink is available in specialist delicatessens and selected Tesco stores.
?Galaxy and Maltesers instant hot chocolate drinks are entering the sachet market with the launch of on-the-go sized sticks this autumn. Galaxy will be available in 28g and Maltesers in 25g sticks (rsp: 29p). A third product called Galaxy Bliss, made with milk rather than water, will come in an 18g stick. The UK sachet market is worth £16m in the UK, according to Nielsen [52 w/e 19 May 2007].
GlaxoSmithKline has added a low-calorie range called Extra Light to its Horlicks range to target younger, health-conscious consumers. Dreamy Vanilla, Cosy Caramel and Heavenly Amaretto varieties come in individual sachets, while Malt and Malt Chocolate varieties also come in 220g packs.
?Tetley reformulated its range
of fruit teas earlier this year to boost their fruitiness in response to consumer
demand for stronger flavours. The company said it carried out research showing that taste was more important
than aroma and refreshment to consumers. The super-fruity new blends are Summer
Berry Merry, Sweet Cranberry, Blackberry Bounce and Lemon Tangerine, which come
in packs of 20 bags. Sampling activity
will take place in stores across the UK this autumn.
The first organic single-estate South African Rooibos tea to be launched in the UK was introduced by Only Natural Products in July. Kromland Farm Organic Rooibos comes in an orange, black and white carton with bold, stylised graphics. The newcomer is priced at £1.89 for a pack of 40, while a pack of 80 retails for £3.40.
?Artisan coffee company Union Coffee Roasters relaunched itself in April this year with a new name: Union Hand-Roasted. The rebranding aimed to focus on the company's expertise in producing artisan hand-roasted coffee. Updated packaging based on the term 'union' symbolises its relationship with farmers and consumers. The Union Hand-Roasted selection of 13 SKUs comes in 227g bags, ready-ground for filters and cafetières (rsp: £2.99).
The Duchy Originals range of teas has been extended with the arrival of eight black, green, herbal and speciality teas, created especially for the company by Only Natural Products. The range now includes Lemon Verbena, Nettle, Earl Grey (bags and loose leaf), English Breakfast, Darjeeling, Green Tea, Green Tea Lemon and Green Tea Jasmine, as well as a specially designed tea caddy containing 50 bags of English Breakfast tea.
Fairtrade company Percol gave its single origin instant coffees a new look in April to match its ground range. The colour-coded lids and designs relate to the country of source.
?An energy drink endorsed by kung fu star Jackie Chan headed to the UK in May this year. Birkenhead-based Interesting Imports, which specialises in premium food and cosmetics, is marketing a trio of green tea extract beverages in the UK and Ireland and has the licence to use images of the martial arts maestro. The range - Instragreen, XGT Energy and Xtragreen - was fully launched this summer. It was developed by Teatech, a Nevada corporation owned by Xel Herbaceuticals, which specialises in the development and marketing of green teas based on its extraction method.
Kenco Foods brought out Kenco Fusion in March - a single-serve sachet of coffee that combines with whitener and/or sugar. It comes as Fusion 3 in 1 (coffee with added milk and sugar) and Fusion 2 in 1 (coffee with whitener).
Nescafé Original aired a weekday radio soap opera from 12 March as part of its £3m Proud Sponsors of Your Coffee Break strategy, to coincide with coffee breaks.
?Twinings poured its premium tea expertise into the coffee market with a four-strong range of ground and roast blends. The single-origin Intense, Rich, Mellow and Decaff coffees share their tea stablemates' premium positioning and are priced at £2.79 to £2.99 per 250g caddy. The blends are made from 100% pure Arabica beans and took two years to develop. The range was first listed in Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury's and the launch was supported by a £3m marketing campaign, including TV adverts this autumn.
Elmwood brand consultancy, along with a group of builders, created a tea called Make Mine a Builders in January this year. Part of the profits will go to the new Builders Foundation. The tea, ethically sourced from Kenya, was available from March this year, priced at £1.69 for 80 bags.
Cadbury Trebor Bassett launched Cadbury Dairy Milk Luxury to go in stores from 8 October. Made from 100% pure chocolate pieces, the chocolate drink will be available in a 200g pack, priced at £2.79. The luxurious drink is made with a mix of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate (75%) marbled with a touch of dark chocolate (25%). The drink is aimed primarily at women aged 35 to 54 years old.
?Fine Foods International teamed up with Save the Children in February to produce a range of instant Fairtrade coffee. The Fair instant range of coffee comes in freeze-dried (£2.54) and granule (£1.98) formats. The coffee is made from a combination of Arabica and Ribusta coffee beans and 20p from every 100g jar sold will go to children in Columbia.
Tea drinkers can now enjoy a bespoke cup of tea while out and about, with Tetley's on-the-go option launched in January this year. The nifty Twistea cup, aimed at the forecourt sector, features a Tetley teabag locked into a plastic cup. The innovative packaging format, which took seven years to develop, is part of Tetley's plan to grow the out-of-home market and capture consumers with busy lifestyles. Only about 10% of tea is drunk on the go, compared with 20% for the coffee market, according to the company.
?Fresh rivalry was brewing last year in the tea aisles between Yorkshire and Lancashire. Lancashire Tea decided to increase its national distribution and gained national listings with Nisa-Today's as well as in Londis and Booker outlets. It has also increased its presence in Asda from a handful of regional outlets to listings in 60 stores across the country.
Unilever Foodsolutions launched its Rainforest Alliance-certified Lipton Kericho Estate Tea into the UK this month, which marks one of the most committed moves into ethical and sustainably sourced tea by a major producer. The tea comes directly from Unilever's own 100% Rainforest Alliance certified tea estate in Kericho, Kenya. The tea has been blended specifically for the UK market as a black tea that is best enjoyed with milk.