A global convenience store chain asked us to suggest new concepts for its vending machine coffee, hot chocolate and cappuccino program. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has made consumers more aware of and interested in improving their health and wellness, including increasing consumption of functional ingredients such as probiotics, we partnered to create a delicious and healthy hot beverage product.
Our team knew that adding probiotics to a regularly consumed and pre-portioned beverage such as vending machine coffee, hot chocolate or cappuccino would help deliver the correct serving size of probiotics for efficacy. We added to a new hot beverage formulation our research-supported probiotic BC30®, which can help support digestive health and immune health and may help support protein utilization. BC30 was selected for its health qualities, and because it remains stable in hot beverages and survives all the way to the intestines, where it can do its work. The customer was excited about the beverage’s functional appeal, and that we’d created a new flavour which highlighted an intense coffee note and could be added to their current hot beverage product line. The final formulation was a dry beverage mix with 1 billion CFU of BC30 per portion which could be served through vending machines.
Kerry approached the customer with strong consumer insights that mapped the unmet consumer need for convenience and wellness. We developed a great-tasting product, embedding probiotics into the formula while guaranteeing product flow and performance in the vending machine and ensuring each dose had the required amount of probiotics. Our regulatory team provided support, including language recommendations for the customer’s promotional materials, and our creative teams helped brainstorm in-store promotions.