Convenience chain 7 Eleven has launched a line of sparking cold brew coffee beverages in innovative self-chilling cans. The Texas-based company will be testing out their first-to-market beverages in 15 select locations in the Los Angeles area.
Fizzics Sparkling Cold Brew Coffee is the first product of its kind. This product line is available in three flavors: Regular, French Vanilla and Caramel. All three coffees are made with 100 percent arabica beans, natural flavors and 10 grams of sugar or less. Additionally, each beverage is only 50 calories and has less than 80 mg of caffeine.
“Because the self-chilling can technology is so groundbreaking, we wanted to introduce it with a super innovative beverage,” said Tim Cogil, 7-Eleven Director of Private Brands. “Sparkling coffee sodas met all the criteria. Previously available in some coffee shops, a handful of exclusive canned carbonated brews began showing up last summer. Fizzics will be the first that can be chilled on demand, bringing a new level of convenience to customers who want to enjoy a chilled drink whenever and wherever they are.”
These innovative Chill-Cans are the invention of California-based packaging manufacturer, The Joseph Company International Inc. The company developed their self-chilling technology after 25 years of development research. Their patented MicroCool technology utilizes CO2 that is recaptured from the atmosphere to chill the can and the sparkling coffee within it. In addition, Chill-Cans have been awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and recognized by NASA and the US Army for their technology and 100 percent recyclability. In addition, these cans do not release new CO2 molecules into the atmosphere.
The Chill-Cans are stored at an ambient temperature and can be instantly chilled once activated by a consumer. Consumers can activate their Fizzics Sparkling Coffee by simply turning the beverage container upside down and twisting the base of the container. Consumers are advised to not touch the can during the initial activation phase because the warmth of their hands might prevent optimal cooling. The entire activation process takes about 75-90 seconds.
Although Chill-Cans are the first of their kind, they are not the only containers with self-activation technology in the food and beverage space. Last year, the former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, Walter Robb, invested in HeatGenie, a self-heating can for hot coffee beverages. Although self-heating cans have been around for about eight decades, prior technologies have proven to be insufficient in terms of heating or storage for an actual product. There is no word of any new self-heating coffee beverages from HeatGenie yet, however consumers can still purchase a variety of self-heating coffees from Amazon.
German company Scaldopack has innovated in this category by offering a line of self-heating and self-cooling stand-up pouches. However, according to the American Chemical Society, the chemicals within the Scaldopack pouch can get hot enough to melt its plastic packaging, which is why a temperature modulator is needed within the packaging.
Previous efforts to develop a self-chilling can have failed for various reasons. In 2006, Crown Holdings launched an Instant Cool Can that they claimed could chill a beverage using water evaporation. However, this product never made it to market. Crown also entered the 2011 Pack Expo in Vegas with a protype of their current project “The Fresh Can” that they claim can heat food items within it in seconds using in-can steaming technology. While this product has not been launched nationally yet it would be a game changer in the food industry because there is currently no self-heating meal option on the market.