The Next Big Thing: Self-heating Coffee
By George Anderson
Get ready to throw away your travel mugs, perhaps even your coffee maker.
There’s a new coffee in town, actually just at Kroger for the moment, and it is being hailed as the next big thing in coffee drinking. It’s the Wolfgang Puck self-heating gourmet latte.
This new drink, USA Today reports, heats itself in a 10-ounce container by mixing calcium oxide (quicklime) and water. No batteries, electric outlets or appliances are needed. The coffee is heated to 145 degrees in six minutes and will stay hot for another 30.
Jonathan Weisz, chief executive of OnTech, said the self-heating process developed by his company “will change the way people drink coffee.”
Wolfgang Puck, the celebrity chef and owner of Spago and Chinois, believes it will expand coffee drinkers’ options and the quality and convenience of the product will make it a hit with consumers.
Kroger, evidently, agrees with Messrs. Weisz and Puck. The chain has negotiated a deal to make it the exclusive seller of the self-heating gourmet latte until mid-February. The item will be offered for sale in all of Kroger’s stores. Each 10-ounce container retails for approximately $2.25.
John Spalding who runs Kroger’s coffee business said of the new product, “There’s nothing like it on the market.”
Moderator’s Comment: Do you think there is a significant national market for 10-ounce self-heating coffee that retails for $2.25? If you were Kroger
and had an exclusive on the coffee, what would you do with it?
Starbucks didn’t have a comment on the new Wolfgang Puck self-heating latte but it did issue its standard response. Company spokesperson, Alan Hilowitz,
said, “Starbucks is about great coffee and a relaxing experience.” –
George Anderson – Moderator