After selling 10,000 cans of his La Colombe’s Draft Latte in just 60 minutes on Amazon.com, Todd Carmichael knew he had a winner, he told senior editor Anne Marie Mohan in an article published in the July 2017 issue of Package World. However, Carmichael didn’t have the plant capacity to create enough product. That was when he set out looking for a new plant.
“Carmichael had three requirements for a production facility — cows ‘lots and lots of cows’ — with the farmers located nearby . . . talent and an existing building,” wrote Mohan. “He found them all at a former dairy plant in Norton Shores, Mich., which he purchased in August 2016.
As we pointed out in an earlier Hoard’s Dairyman Intel, Michigan was a logical choice as it has grown milk production by 31 percent from 2010 to 2016.
The lots of cows and milk were definite needs because Carmichael’s latte product consists of 80 percent fresh milk. As writer Mohan points out, most products of this nature use powered or rehydrated milk. That fresh milk and 80 percent figure are both good news for dairy farmers. But there’s more.
To make his product stand out in the marketplace, Carmichael “doses the beverage with nitrous oxide — a gas commonly used for whipped cream — through the bottom of the can, and then shaking the can to disperse the gas throughout the coffee,” wrote Package World's Mohan. A batch retort system pasteurizes the product to provide a 180-day shelf life.
As for La Colombe’s Draft Latte, it’s a RTD product. That RTD means “ready to drink” . . . as in open the can and enjoy your cold latte. The product is available in four flavors — latte, triple latte, vanilla, and mocha.Click here to watch a video and read Package World’s entire story about the Draft Latte and La Colombe’s Norton Shores plant.