Hawaii-based brand KonaRed, which markets roasted whole coffee beans and ready-to-drink cold brew products, believes the beverage industry’s next “super fruit” ingredient has already arrived.
When coffee is sourced, the fruit of the plant that surrounds the coffee bean is typically discarded as waste. KonaRed, however, sees the fruit as the key to establishing a unique identity for itself in terms of flavor, functionality and environmental sustainability.
Speaking with BevNET at Natural Products Expo West 2018 last week, KonaRed CEO Kyle Redfield explained that, by integrating antioxidant-rich coffee fruit juice into its expanding family of RTD cold brew coffees, the company is seeking to create a health halo around the ingredient similar to pomegranate and açaí. He also explained how, in addition to giving KonaRed products a distinctive flavor profile, coffee fruit also allows the brand to create a more sustainable and environmentally responsible revenue stream for its growing partners in the Kona region of Hawaii, the only area of domestic coffee production in the U.S.
Also in this interview, Redfield discussed how KonaRed is communicating its unique offering to consumers, how brand incubator L.A. Libations is supporting its growth strategy, and the introduction of new flavors and packaging, such as a bag-in-box format, aimed at expanding the brand’s presence in conventional and mass retail channels.