Butter coffee, a decadent blend of coffee, butter and medium chain triglycerides, was all the rage several years ago – especially among fitness enthusiasts who claim it helps boost metabolism, mental clarity and provide a steady source of stable energy.
Since then, “the trend has gone down a bit,” acknowledges Grass Fed Coffee Co-founder John “Sonic” Ban. But he says the drop off is not because consumers lost interest, but rather because the beverage is messy and time consuming to make at home.
He saw this as an opportunity to fill an unmet need by offering “the world’s first ready to drink butter coffee,” he said.
Grass Fed Coffee provides all the benefits of butter coffee made at home, but without the mess, time investment or need to buy expensive ingredients, Ban said.
“This drink is too good not to have because of the time it takes to make,” and by offering a RTD version, Grass Fed Coffee will increase access and demand for the beverage, he said.
His product also is unique – and likely will have expanded reach – because unlike the original hot brewed beverage, Grass Fed Coffee uses a smooth tasting, low-acidic cold brew made from organic, fair trade coffee.
As the name suggests, it also is made with sustainably produced grass fed butter, which the company claims provides vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
For another flavor boosting twist, Grass Fed Coffee also includes organic chicory, which the company says delivers “the whole spectrum of vitamins and minerals, as well as oligosaccharide-enriched inulin.”
Overcoming formulation challenges
Creating a ready-to-drink version of a classic hot beverage that can be consumed chilled turned out to be a major challenge for the co-founders.
It took 14 months, several beverage companies, 17 reformulations, a retort process and a blend of non-GMO emulsifiers to keep the coffee, butter and oil blended when the beverage cooled, Ban said.
Even though the final product still requires “one really good shake” before drinking, Ban says the struggle was worth it because the drink is even “better than what I make at home.” Plus, a lot more convenient.
With the formula finalized, “everything is ready to go. We just need to get the last bit of funding to complete the product,” Ban said. Which is where the firm’s Kickstarter campaign comes in.
He and his team spent three months and about $1,500 to create the campaign, including a professional video, which Ban hopes will do more than raise funds to cover the final production run.
He explains: “We also hope the campaign will provide metrics we can give retailers to show them we aren’t crazy and that people really want this,” Ban said.
And so far the campaign is proving fruitful on both fronts. Within the first two weeks the campaign raised 70% of its goal, and emails from around the world have flooded Ban’s inbox with accolades and encouragement to make the product, he said.
Once the campaign ends, Ban plans to run full production in late February and start shipping as soon as possible. For now, he will focus on distribution in Southern California, but hopes to expand as revenue and demand grow, he said.
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