Reporter, Ralph Atkins; Executive Producer, Joe Sinclair; produced, filmed and edited by James Sandy; additional editing by Gary Tobyn
There was a time when instant coffee was considered the height of sophistication. And Nescafe's Gold Blend set the standard for luxury and class. Nowadays, we've all become coffee connoisseurs.
It's a bit thin. So it could be a bit stronger. But the taste is good.
Pretty strong. Mm. But I like it. It's really nice.
It's not the best coffee I've ever had. But it's not too bitter.
With customer expectations higher than ever before, Nestlé, the makers of Gold Blend, are having to adapt to survive.
We invented the soluble coffee more than 80 years ago. And we have seen continuous growth for 80 years. What is very, very important-- and why soluble coffee is and will remain part of the life of a lot of consumers - is that we continuously upgrade through new technology and keep that product absolutely relevant to people.
The plan is to update Gold Blend's recipe and packaging to reflect a more premium product.
We have seen a strong increase in consumer demand for premium coffee. And we knew that we had to step change Nescafe Gold. In the new one, we have a mix of soluble coffee and roast and ground coffee, which is ground 10 times finer than normal, which is then added to the soluble coffee to maximise the freshness of taste and aroma. The ambition is that a cup of Nescafe Gold should be able to compete with roast and ground coffee.
The new recipe has been subject to years of testing.
And so don't be surprised. It's a little bit of a slurp.
The problem is that sales of instant coffee are slowing in western Europe compared to the so-called pod coffee or ready-to-drink varieties. And given the range of out-of-home alternatives at our disposal, there has to be a question mark over whether a new recipe and some fresh new packaging will be enough to turn heads back to instant. But a Gold Blend reboot might not seem so crazy when put in a more global context.
It is true that in developed markets, instant coffee doesn't have much growth. Having said that, soluble coffee's still extremely relevant to the overall growth equation for Nestlé, because it's still massive in emerging markets - so all of Southeast Asia. Japan is also a big instant coffee market. Latin America - where you have billions of people living - still, you have big consumption that is made in instant coffee.
Today, every day 5,500 cup of Nescafe are drunk every second. And this is in different forms and different varieties. It's very important for Nestlé to get our coffee strategy right. This is our largest category. This is a fast growing category. We are absolutely convinced that soluble coffee is part of our future for a very, very long time.
With so much at stake, Nestlé will be hoping that customers share their confidence in Gold Blend's evergreen appeal.