Nestlé will launch a reformulated version of single-serve coffee product Nescafé 1+2 Original in China this month, and claims that consumer tastes in the nation have changed.
The company said it had spent four years developing the new recipe – Nescafé is now the leading coffee brand in China – which it based on extensive research into consumer preferences.
“Nestlé has found Chinese people now expect a richer, more aromatic coffee with more balanced, milky flavors than before,” it said.
A Nestlé spokesman told BeverageDaily.com that the new drink would be sold at the same price as the original.
"1+2 Original has the highest brand awareness among Chinese consumers of any coffee product. It is the main contributor to our coffee business in the country," he said.
"Today, Chinese consumers want different coffee experiences depending on their tastes. Ste by step we are building a range of 1+2 products.
"A the same time, we are upgrading the current 'pillar product' 1+2 Original," he added.
This month’s launch will be backed by a new marketing campaign that will encourage more consumers to spend time enjoying Nescafé as a social drink.
“People in China originally began drinking coffee as a ‘pick me up’,” said Adrian Ho, senior vice president of coffee and beverages in the Greater China region.
Savoring a social experience
“Today, more and more consumers are regarding coffee as a social drink to enjoy in and out of home. They are increasingly taking time to savor the experience of drinking coffee while connecting with each other face to face,” he added.
Ho said that Nestlé hoped its new, improved product would appeal to more people in China, where the Nescafé brand has been established for 25 years.
Other product lines available in the country include Nescafé Premium, Nescafé Café Collection and Nescafé Classic.
Asked whether the broader Chinese coffee trend was being driven by single-serve packs, the spokesman told this publication:
"Yes. Single-serve coffee is popular with new consumers and those in smaller cities across the country that have only recently started to develop the 'coffee culture'.
"We also sell a chain pack of 1+2 Original, which offers consumers good value and convenience."
Last year, Nestlé introduced its 2010 ‘Nescafé Plan’ to China; the plan collates the firm’s commitments relating to coffee farming, production and consumption.
As a result, the company will double the amount of coffee it buys directly from farmers and their associations by 2015.
1+2 Original has the highest brand awareness among Chinese consumers of any coffee product. It is the main contributor to our coffee business in the country.