The Next Big Thing: Self-heating Coffee

Dec 20, 2004
George Anderson

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

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

2 Comments on "The Next Big Thing: Self-heating Coffee"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
starner michael
starner michael
15 years 7 months ago

The consumer is protected by plastic comfort ring around top of can. I’m surprised at the mainly negative comments, especially if you look at the focus group information or near-consumer level review blogs who comment on the product with “wow” and “cool.” Sure, Nestle tried and failed, but their product had design flaws and didn’t heat correctly. This coffee innovation will be good to the last drop.

Robert McMath
Robert McMath
14 years 9 months ago
More than a year later, I finally got a can of the self-heating coffee in a supermarket in California. I tried it. #1 – The pull ring broke off, so it was hard to get it going and finally get it to heat. Had to use a screw driver to finally get it going! #2 – As I suspected, it did live up to what I expected it should taste like. It was a might too sweet for me, and I thought a rather weak cup of coffee, anyway. I still find the convenience concept to be strong if properly presented and merchandised. It was just sitting on the shelf in a supermarket when I saw it — nothing to call attention to it or explain it to someone who had not heard about it. There are times, especially for commuters and drivers who take long trips on the road and don’t want to stop frequently. Years ago, I suggested to the former owners that the consumer needed a frame of reference to spend so… Read more »

Take Our Instant Poll

Do you think there is a significant national market for 10-ounce self-heating coffee that retails for $2.25?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...