Let's say you enjoy your morning latte – piping hot, ready to go at a moment's notice.
But you're not in the mood – or don't have the time – to brew your own.
There's no way you're waiting in that drive-in line at McDonald's. And
the Starbucks down the road can get a little pricey every day.
Boy, does Steve Hatch have a deal for you.
Hatch, the CEO of Copper Mountain Beverages, is launching his company's
first product line – Hot2Go, a packaged latte that he boasts has real
milk, is ready to heat and drink, and tastes as good as more expensive
"You pop off the top … put it in the microwave … and enjoy it," Hatch
says. "We're an alternative, convenient way for the consumer to drink
hot coffee lattes whenever they want one."
It's an idea whose time has come, Hatch says.
Coffee is right up there with beer as Americans' third favorite
beverage, behind sodas and bottled waters. Nearly 80 percent of adults
drink coffee. Among those aged 18 to 24, 40 percent drink at least a cup
a day, and among those 25-39, 54 percent are daily drinkers. Those last
two figures, Hatch's research shows, are increases of 30 percent and 23
percent, respectively, from a year ago.
Another trend, he says, is for less expensive, more convenient coffee
blends. And currently, Hatch said, Hot2Go is the only product of its
kind on the market. He cites figures that ready-to-eat-and-drink coffee,
cocoa and tea products could be a $1.2 to $3.4 billion market in five
So he's positioning his newly formed company to dominate the market. He
offers three flavors of lattes – French vanilla, mocha and hazelnut, in
both full strength and light versions. By September, he hopes to add
cocoa and light cocoa to the product line. By spring of 2012, hot
teas-to-go are planned.
Hatch, a marketing executive, helped develop the product, which he says
uses a process similar to canning fruits and jams and jellies. That, he
says, means it can use real milk, but is shelf-stable and does not need
to be refrigerated.
He started his company in October 2010 at the Hamilton County
Development Co., and already has reached what many consider to be the
Holy Grail for distribution – Walmart is selling his product nationwide.
Sam's Clubs are next, Hatch says, and he's working to get his product
in other stores around the country.
Currently, it's being sold in individual packages; six-packs are in the
near future, he says. The price should be between $1.60 and $1.80,
cheaper than a convenience store, fast-food restaurant, or coffee shop
"It's the same quality at a fraction of the cost," he says. "And it's ready is 60 seconds."
By Paul Long