BEND, Ore., U.S. — With just a few months in distribution, Riff ’s Alter Ego — brewed from upcycled coffee fruit (cascara)—has experienced an enthusiastic reception from distributors, retailers and consumers. Building on an expansive distribution footprint of the Pacific Northwest, Northern California and Arizona, Riff Cold Brewed has announced the addition of two new SKUs to its Alter Ego brand.
Keeping with a firm commitment of utilizing only a short list of natural ingredients, the two new flavors—Guava Passionfruit and Blackberry—are driven purely by the addition of all-natural fruit juice and deliver on flavor trends that consumers are gravitating towards. Now Alter Ego offers consumers, seeking good-for-you and good-for-the planet products, three delicious and refreshing, clean-label alternatives to the artificial-ingredient-laden energy drink category.
Alter Ego Sparkling Original
Features naturally occurring notes of dried fruit, apricot and lemon,
100mg of caffeine, 10g of sugar and only 35 calories.
Alter Ego Sparkling Guava Passionfruit
Flavored with natural guava and passionfruit fruit juices, 100mg of caffeine,
10g of sugar and only 40 calories.
Alter Ego Sparkling Blackberry
Flavored with natural blackberry fruit juice, 100mg of caffeine,
12g of sugar and only 45 calories.
Named for being coffee’s lesser-known counterpart, Alter Ego is brewed from dried upcycled coffee fruit (cascara), the naturally sweet, naturally caffeinated fruity pulp that surrounds the bean prior to processing at source. Tasting nothing like coffee, Alter Ego Original features surprising naturally occurring notes of dried fruit and citrus creating a great base for a wide range of flavor extensions. Available in 12 oz sleek cans, Alter Ego delivers 100 mg of caffeine (about the same as a regular cup of coffee), is low in sugar and low in calories, with a suggested retail price of $2.99. And, perhaps best of all, each can of Alter Ego delivers positive environmental, social and economic impact by upcycling a traditionally wasted byproduct of the coffee harvest.
“Very few are aware that a coffee bean is actually half of a two-headed seed, surrounded by a wonderful fruity pulp,” said Nate Armbrust, Riff Co-Founder and Director of Brewing and Innovation. “It’s been a blast innovating with the whole fruit at Riff. Imagine harvesting some of our favorite fruits, like peaches and avocados, only to throw away the fruit in order to produce a food or beverage with the pit. It’s crazy. There’s so much incredible potential with coffee fruit.”
This tasty little fruit tells a pretty big environmental impact story
An estimated 100 billion pounds of coffee fruit (cascara) were produced globally as a byproduct of the coffee harvest last year alone.
About 99% of the coffee fruit produced is discarded and left to waste. Much of it in farmers’ fields where mycotoxins develop and seep into soil and water tables.
Some of the waste is released into waterways damaging the ecosystem and killing off fish and aquatic life.
Most is delivered to landfills, where mountains of decomposing fruit generate methane gas equivalent to an estimated 36 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually— the same level of emissions produced by 14 million automobiles.
Yet, when upcycled for consumption, coffee fruit provides a significant social and economic opportunity for struggling coffee farmers.
Facing the lowest commodity prices in over a decade, farmers around the globe are operating at negative cash flows.
By processing coffee fruit for export, farmers have the opportunity to double revenue without adding crops and very little investment in additional equipment.
Employment opportunities can potentially double throughout the supply chain.
Coffee fruit is also less subject to volatile commodity pricing than green coffee.
Riff is also excited to announce that it’s now a proud member of 1% for the Planet, with 1% of Alter Ego gross sales being donated to non-profit partners located in coffee growing regions with a focus on the environment.
“We love the idea of utilizing 100% of what the incredible coffee plant has to offer,” said Paul Evers, Riff Co-Founder and CEO. “We are passionate about coffee and celebrating its incredible range of naturally-occurring flavors via our cold brewed coffee line. And, now by upcycling coffee fruit we’re helping create a win-win-win-win scenario by providing a big boost for coffee farmers, adding sustainability to the coffee industry, reducing impact on the environment, and delivering an exciting and refreshing natural energy drink to consumers.”