Self-chilling. No, it’s not the title of the world’s worst self-help book; it’s the can technology being rolled out in a test market by convenience store chain 7-Eleven for a proprietary new carbonated cold brew drink.
The product line is called Fizzics Sparkling Cold Brew, and the proprietary cans containing the coffee drink come from a California-based company called Joseph Company International, maker of the Chill-Can.
Scoff all you like, but 7-Eleven has a track record of seeing future trends through coffee, whether that’s predicting presidential election results or even being the first chain to sell coffee in to-go cups. The company has even been on the leading edge of sustainability in the convenience chain category — granted, not the sharpest of edges by specialty coffee standards — by switching to Rainforest Alliance-certified coffees and focusing on single-origins.
So, about this self-chilling can. According to the manufacturer, it allows RTD products to be purchased at ambient temperature and chilled for consumption through patented technology that activates CO2 claimed from the atmosphere. To activate the chilling, the can is placed on a flat surface, turned upside down, and the base is twisted until a constant hissing noise is present. Once the hissing stops after about 75 to 90 seconds, the can is turned upright ready to be opened. The Chill-Can is recyclable and does not introduce any new CO2 to the atmosphere, according to Joseph Company.
An evolution of cold brew or espresso tonics that regained popularity in high-end coffee shops in or around 2014, fizzy coffee bubbled up in canned or bottled forms from various roasteries or alternative beverage companies thereafter, with Stumptown arguably leading the charge in canned carbonated cold brew. 7-Eleven is clearly hoping the trend doesn’t go flat.
“Because the self-chilling can technology is so groundbreaking, we wanted to introduce it with a super innovative beverage,” Tim Cogil, 7-Eleven director of private brands, said in a press release announcing the Fizzics release. “Sparkling coffee sodas met all the criteria.”
7-Eleven is currently testing the Fizzics line in 15 stores in the Los Angeles market.