Coffee has had it easy. For most of us, it is a routine drink to get us up and running in the morning. Some of us have come to enjoy a cup in the afternoon to power through the rest of the day. What’s really made a difference between tea and coffee in America has been its caffeine content. A cup of coffee contains, on average, 95 to 200mg caffeine per 8oz cup, while tea has traditionally been around 26mg.
Coffee’s domination of our morning start based on its once-infallible advantage in caffeine content is no more. ZestTea has created a line of high-caffeine teas that easily hold their own against coffee. Their black teas hand out 155mg caffeine while their green teas come in at 140mg.
For some time, high-end coffee purveyors have been touting “varietals” (similar to wines and, yes, teas) to create additional differences against the value-players of the coffee market. But most of us haven’t really put much thought into what goes into our cup, just as long as it gets us our buzz.
And with significant health studies touting the health benefits of tea, high-caffeine teas may have finally scaled the impenetrable rampart of the coffee fortress.
It is an interesting case study into strategic product development to challenge the status quo of a huge addressable market that had been left to be dominated by the competition. It is also a textbook case of going after non-consumption rather than incremental innovation.
Watch out, coffee! You are in for some heavy competition for that morning jolt.