We take iced coffee for granted these days, its everywhere you go. However, in the early 1990s, iced coffee was a weird novelty. I don’t even remember seeing iced coffee in bottles until I went to Anchorage to visit family the Summer of 1996, and I saw the Starbucks bottled Frappuchino drinks for the first time.
(See, I brought the bottle back to Virginia with me, I had mocha and coffee too, but I don’t know where they are right now.)
It wasn’t until YouTube did I know that there was a bottled iced coffee way before the bottled Frappucnino drinks. In the fall of 1992, Maxwell House bottled an iced coffee named Cappio 1.
The flavors were coffee, cinnamon, and mocha. The product was aimed at younger college aged coffee drinkers. Check out the low low prices on ‘dat Cappio:
I love the Andy Rooney-esque title for that article, “Doesn’t Anybody Drink Coffee Black Anymore?”
"Maxwell House introduces Cappio iced cappuchino."Hudson Valley News, June 24, 1992. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=jehFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=tR0NAAAAIBAJ&dq=maxwell house cappio&pg=5230,2615667 (accessed June 4, 2013).
Maxwell House created Cappio as an easier way to drink cappuccino, without the expensive maker, and also as a response to people who were tired of drinking the same boring cup of coffee every day:
Coffee has the potential to be a small luxury in a time when bigger luxuries aren’t affordable, said Margery Schelling, senior product manager for Maxwell House, the industry leader in coffee innovations for the supermarket shelf.
She added, “People still are drinking coffee. But today, it can be in many different forms and flavors.”
Her own daily regimen includes regular coffee in the morning, a bottle of Cappio (the company’s new flavored cappuccino that’s meant to be served chilled or over ice) at lunch time or in the afternoon and a cup of Maxwell House Cappuccino (a new, instant beverage that comes in the same flavors as Cappio — coffee, mocha and cinnamon) sometime in the evening.
Although Schelling conceded that freshly brewed espresso and cappuccino are the ideals, she said, “Our studies have shown that less than 10 percent of American households have a $200 or more machine to turn out these specialty beverages. We’re providing alternatives.
"Cappio can be poured over ice or chilled and drunk straight from the bottle. All a person has to do to our Maxwell House Cappuccino is pour the contents of the envelope into a cup, add hot water and stir to get good flavor and the familiar cap of froth that’s expected from cappuccino." 3
(source [Flickr member “Pete’s Old Food”])
Cappio was at least around long enough to enjoy a brief moment at the White House:
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., March 19 /PRNewswire/ — According to the March 22 edition U.S. News and World Report, officials at the White House have “maxed out” on the coffee budget due to working late hours on the economic plan. Everyone is obliged to operate under the BYOC budget rule: “Bring Your Own Coffee.” Maxwell House Coffee Company, a division of Kraft General Foods, Inc., is coming to the rescue and sending Clinton officials 20 cases of Maxwell House coffee, just in time for more long hours of work on the nation’s pressing issues. “At Maxwell House, we have found that behind every great idea, there’s a cup of coffee,” said Chuck Phillips, president of Maxwell House. “We hope that this coffee will help spark the imaginations of Clinton and his staff, and spark the American economy, at the same time.” The coffee, which includes Maxwell House Colombian Supreme coffee, Sanka decaffeinated coffee and Cappio iced cappuccino, is due to arrive at the White House next week. Maxwell House, Cappio and Sanka are registered trademarks of Kraft General Foods, Inc. -0- 3/19/93
Kraft Foods discontinued Cappio in early 1996, citing that the product only made $11 million the few years it was on the market. 3
Maxwell House Ready to Drink Brewed Coffee - a product that constantly comes up on “what were they thinking?” lists. Back in 1990 when this was introduced, people didn’t really phantom drinking this straight from the carton, it was only to be heated up in the microwave (but you couldn’t heat the carton up in the microwave!), which was a total time waster, when you could just make a cup of coffee.
"Starbucks Does Not Live By Coffee Alone” 1996 Businessweek article about the launch of the Frappuchino drinks.