An old news story but has anyone tried this??? Single-serving coffee can heats itself By Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY Dec 2004 Convenience is about to take on new meaning in the coffee aisle: single-serving coffee in a can that heats itself. Beginning Jan. 2, consumers can buy a 10-ounce container of Wolfgang Puck gourmet latte at the store and heat it by pressing a button. No electricity. No batteries. No appliances. "It will expand the way people drink coffee," says Puck, the celebrity chef with a growing empire. How does the can do it? A single step mixes calcium oxide (quicklime) and water. It heats the coffee to 145 degrees in six minutes and stays hot for 30 minutes. It sounds like a technology used by soldiers to heat Meals-Ready-To-Eat. But MREs mix magnesium iron oxide and water and need several steps. This is one-step and self-contained. Puck's latte hits stores at a point consumers are willing to pay a premium for quality products that save time. Puck owner of Los Angeles eateries Spago and Chinois knows trends. He's licensed his name to WP Beverage Partners, a beverage firm. WP has linked up with OnTech, a technology specialist, that designed the heating process. Nestlé has tested a similar technology with Nescafé in Europe, and smaller companies have tested it in Asia. "This will change the way people drink coffee," says Jonathan Weisz, CEO of OnTech. He insists that the technology is child-safe and eco-friendly. The technology also could be used to heat tea, cocoa and soup products. By mid-2005, it will be tested on foods from rice to fish. Kroger is so convinced the product will be a hit, it will offer it in all 2,530 stores and negotiated a deal to be the only seller until mid-February. "There's nothing like it on the market," says John Spalding, who oversees all coffee sales at Kroger. The coffee in its recyclable, single-serve container will retail for about $2.25. While that's less than a Starbucks latte, will American coffee drinkers trade in their Starbucks grandés for Puck's cup o' joe? One marketing consultant says, don't bet your coffee money on it. "People won't believe that something from the grocery store will be in the same ballpark with Starbucks," says Steven Addis, a brand expert. Starbucks won't comment on the Puck coffee, but spokesman Alan Hilowitz says, "Starbucks is about great coffee and a relaxing experience." The Puck brand could attract time-pressed commuters, Addis says. And, perhaps, cold-weather football fans. OnTech also plans a line of self-heating coffee later next year under the Hillside Coffee private label a name it licensed from Procter & Gamble. OnTech plans to distribute the coffee through QVC next year and at major hotel chains. "We've never had retailers calling us and demanding a product," says Bob Groux, CEO of WP. "We do now."