“We have seen tremendous growth in the ready-to-drink (RTD) category – across our coffee shops and through our e-commerce and wholesale accounts,” Baker Carroll, head of RTD at Verve Coffee, told FoodNavigator-USA.
“We expect a significant increase in demand for Flash Brew Oatmilk Lattes, with production expected to triple next year.”
The Santa Cruz-based company first entered the RTD category in 2018 with Original Flash Brew, which, unlike traditional cold brews, is brewed hot from espresso, cooled and saturated with nitrogen to preserve the coffee’s freshness and flavor.
“Why don’t we formulate our own?”
After the successful launch of Original Flash Brew, Verve introduced Single Origin-Ethiopia Sakaro and Vancouver Decaf options in 2020, but it took a few years to find the right oat milk recipe for Flash Brew.
“At the beginning of this project, we had in mind exactly what coffee presence and profile we wanted in the drinks, so we formulated the bottom line first,” Carol explained.
“Then we sampled it with many of the oat milks on the market, but nothing quite as in tune with our coffee as we wanted, leading us to wonder ‘Why don’t we make our own? “
Special oat milk, blended off-site for Verve’s formula, is offered in original flavors and chocolate, as well as industry-first lavender honey, sweetened with rare honey from Mexico harvested seasonally from the coffee blossom plants.
“The Lavender Honey and Oatmilk Latte is definitely a nod to us Cafe Customers also saw this success with this drink at the Arts District Café,” Carol said.
The artistic outpost in downtown Los Angeles is one of Verve’s 17 California and Tokyo coffee shops dedicated to it. “Coffee Industry, Culture and Society”. It recently appeared on Architectural Digest’s list of Most Beautiful Coffee Shops, and the 7,000-square-foot area includes a beverage innovation lab and the company’s second toaster.
The road to RTD
Founded in 2007, Verve started as an artisanal coffee roaster built on the Direct Trade buying model. Today she releases more than 70 types of coffee per year – all sourced from coffee farmers in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Indonesia, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama – but continues to roast the beans in small batches by palm.
Verve is always looking for ways to innovate the artisanal coffee experience, and in this case, responding to the growing demand for quality coffee on the go.
“In the RTD beverage world, the most amazing creators do their own thing, leaning towards their own values and visions, which is what drove us to create rich, delicious, multi-layered brews in Flash Brew Oatmilk Lattes,” Carol said.
“In addition to continuing to develop Flash Brew Oatmilk Lattes, we are working on new products in our single-serve arena with Craft Instant Coffee.”
Oatmilk Lattes (90 mg of caffeine per serving) launched this week into a global ready-to-drink coffee market valued at $26.3 billion in 2022 and expected to grow to $42.3 billion by 2032, according to Future Market Insights.
It will be available at Verve’s California coffee shops, specialty grocery stores, and online through Amazon and the company’s e-commerce site.