According to The Grind Coffee Company barista Dayne Levinrad, there is an amazing new “Coffee In A Cone” craze sweeping South Africa, and coffee fans from across the nation are visiting Johannesburg to taste and snap photos of the unusual concept.
Coffee In A Cone, the shop’s signature drink, is a small latte inside of a chocolate-coated ice cream cone.
Since January, more than one million images have been tagged with #coffeeinacone on the photo-based social media site Instagram, Eater reports.
Although the Coffee In A Cone idea may sound simplistic, Levinrad says that the science behind his creation is not.
After working for four years as a coffee consultant in Brazil, Australia, and Los Angeles, Levinrad decided to return to his home city of Johannesburg to create something different.
“Johannesburg had a competitive coffee sector, but it wasn’t third wave, specific-sector coffee yet,” Levinrad told CNN. “From my research in Australia, I knew that’s the way the market was heading.”
Building off of the fact that people love ice cream, coffee, and chocolate, the former digital marketing executive decided to serve all three in one glorious package. But filling a chocolate-lined wafer cone with steaming hot coffee wasn’t exactly ideal – “The wafer was too thin.”
“We bought our own machine and started rolling our own wafer cones, using different flours, but the chocolate still melted,” Levinrad continued. “We couldn’t have any leakage.”
Eventually, Levinrad found that the perfect solution was to use four different types of chocolate compounds to coat the cone, each hardened by varying percentages of cacao content.
“Now we’ve got the whole thing under patent,” Levinrad said, “it’s a very arduous process.”
Patrons only have 10 minutes to drink the coffee before the four layers start to melt.
Even with an intricate recipe, Coffee In A Cone owes its success to Levinrad’s understanding of social media.
First, he coined the hashtag #coffeeinacone.
“We used the cone as a way to become an Instagrammable product. When people come in they take a selfie and tag #coffeeinacone,” he told CNN.
Levinrad also employed someone to run a WhatsApp line dedicated to taking orders for take-outs and deliveries of the product.
Hard work and creative marketing skills shortly caught the attention of Aviv Weil, of Creative Shop Facebook, Africa – who had come across the caffeinated creation on social media.
“This was the most innovative coffee idea I had seen in years,” Weil told CNN. Weil reached out to Levinrad and offered assistance through Creative Shop – Facebook’s program for helping small businesses – with “everything from brand strategy to creative concepts, targeting insights.”
According to CNN, Weil guided Levinrad on how to build a creative marketing and advertising ecosystem using Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger platforms, leveraging each in a unique way.
“We then used a heat map trending application to monitor where the tag has traveled to,” Levinrad says. “It’s gone all over the world.”
[Photo from Pixabay]