Review: Bluestone Lane Adds RTD Iced Coffees
Covers Products: Australian Iced Coffee with Oat Milk, Australian Iced Coffee with Organic Milk
Bluestone Lane, which is an Australian brick and mortar coffee purveyor that’s rapidly expanding their U.S. footprint, has recently launched a ready-to-drink line of iced coffees. The two SKU line features one product that’s made with oat milk and one that’s made with organic milk.
Both products are packaged in a SIG 11 oz. resealable carton container and feature the Bluestone Lane logo as the key design element on the front of the package. To that end, this product should certainly be easy to spot for anyone that’s familiar with the brand.
As for the liquid, both products start out with a base of cold brew coffee that’s made with 100% arabica coffee beans. From there, things diverge a bit. The dairy-based offering has organic milk, cane sugar, and natural flavors and has 110 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 9 grams of sugar. The oat milk variety has Elmhurst oat milk, sugar, sea salt, natural flavors and gellan gum and comes in at 90 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, and 9 grams of sugar.
Due to the use of aseptic packaging, which requires high heat, some of the flavor benefits of cold brew seem to be lost and the product tastes similar to a traditional hot brewed iced coffee. Furthermore, there’s a slightly burnt/scaled note to it, which is especially noticeable in the dairy based offering. To that end, it’s probably a good thing that the product isn’t positioned as a cold brew coffee.
Beyond that, these products are lightly sweetened and contain an amount of “milk” that’s on par with what is typical of RTD coffee products. Keeping both of these elements under control certainly helps keep the coffee as the focal point of the drink’s flavor profile.
While they are both enjoyable, we’re not sure that they are good enough to go against some of the brands that they’ll be competing with. This could be a matter of the processing technique that is used, which might be difficult to resolve.
Still, at least for the time being, there is an opportunity for the Oat Milk SKU simply because it has oat milk. But that is rapidly becoming less and less of a competitive advantage as more brands enter the market.
In the end, we think that these products are, in their present form, best suited to be an add-on sale at one of Bluestone’s cafes. In other channels, we think the brand might have some challenges -- both the typical ones that any brand faces as well as product challenges from the extremely competitive RTD coffee landscape.