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Fierce Competition for High-End Premium Canned Coffee: New products such as "Barista" and "Black" compete for taste

3, 01. 2015

   Competition in the new and growing premium arena for canned coffee is becoming fiercer.

   In the fight-back against the growth in fresh coffee machines in convenience stores and elsewhere, the latest weapon for Dydo Drinco, Suntory Beverage & Food Limited, Kirin Beverages, and so on is premium canned coffee, first introduced into the market in 2014. These all push for a sense of luxury and high-quality taste. In the spring of 2015 all three companies have been introducing new products into the marketplace and entering a new phase in the struggle.

"Specifications Directed to Needs" Under the Supervision of "The World's Best Barista"

More new premium canned coffee products will continue to be released through the spring!
More new premium canned coffee products will continue to be released through the spring!

   Dydo Drinco, which released its premium canned coffee "Creamy Demitasse Espresso" ahead of other companies in August 2014, has developed a new "Creamy Premium" which it will release on March 2nd 2015.

   "Creamy Premium" is a mysterious and fun product where the customer shakes the can 10 or more times before opening, which creates a cream just like that on a freshly prepared espresso.

   This new release, "Creamy Premium", was created under the supervision of Pete Licata, winner of the 2013 World Barista Championship, and this has resulted in a smooth "premium" taste in the mouth combining top quality coffee and milk.

   A barista, in Italian, means a professional who makes coffee for his customer's orders. Dydo Drinco says "We received a lot of advice from Pete Licata. As a result we were able to increase the quality of our canned coffee and create specifications to satisfy our customers, directed to their needs."

   Next in its "World's Best Barista Series", Dydo Drinco will renew its "Dydo Blend Sweet" and "Dydo Blend Black" brands.

   It says "We want to acquire a new segment of customers by improving our flavours, in this era of diversifying customer tastes. We want to see just how good canned coffee can be."

   However, Suntory Beverage & Food Limited's "Premium Boss" was released in September 2014. It selling point is that, while its price of 115 yen (before tax) puts it in the normal range for canned coffee, it has "the richest taste in the history of the brand."

   Suntory says "The 'Premium' in 'Premium Boss' comes from the taste. We want our fans to rediscover what is good about canned coffee."

   "Premium Boss" was re-released on February 3rd, 2015. It goes alongside "Premium Boss Black", released on March 10th, in a 2-line offensive.

   The special feature of "Premium Boss", a balanced blend of finely ground beans, continues to be used. This time, however, it says that coffee oil from roasting the coffee beans is also added, and together with a new special roasting method it has developed, this makes for a great-tasting combination of depth and sharpness.

   Regarding the introduction of "Black", Suntory says "The keywords for products growing in today's canned coffee market are 'sugarless black' and 'bottle cans' which can be closed while the customer walks around. That is what we have paid particular attention to." It wants to ride the momentum of this wave with the introduction of "Black".

   Kirin Beverages' new products, released on March 31st 2015, are its "Special Class Rare with Espresso", highlighting a fine coffee scent, rich depth of flavour, and espresso's bitter taste; and its "Special Class Rare Black", which has the mellow and rich roasted smell which is at the heart of coffee. This is a further evolution of the "Special Class" series, released in November 2014, which aims to establish a high-value, high-price market.

   It is priced at 200 yen (before tax), which is extraordinarily high for canned coffee. Kirin explains, "Recently consumption has been polarising, so we are focusing on products using the best ingredients and service, sparing no time or effort." It is setting its sights on customers who fit into the "petit-rich" bracket.

   We will be keeping our eyes on the premium canned coffee arena for a while.

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