KANSAS CITY — A trend that recently has percolated on social media is “bulletproof coffee,” made by blending unsalted grass-fed butter and coconut oil or medium-chain triglycerides oil into a morning brew. The concoction has been touted by Crossfit and Paleo enthusiasts for such benefits as mental clarity and sustained energy. As more Americans befriend butter and similar sources of fat, it’s no surprise the beverage has made a splash on food blogs and sharing sites, including Pinterest and Instagram. At least two companies are hoping to profit from the concept.
At the end of July, the first Bulletproof Coffee cafe was opened in Santa Monica, Calif., by the creator of the concept, Dave Asprey. The menu features coffee and tea beverages with such additions as collagen protein, coconut whipped cream, cacao nibs and, of course, grass-fed butter and ghee; plus such dishes as sockeye salmon sliders with avocado on a sweet potato and zucchini bun.
Mr. Asprey, the chief executive officer of Bulletproof and author of The Bulletproof Diet, introduced the recipe for his trademarked Bulletproof Coffee on-line five years ago, but the concept only began gaining steam in the past couple years. “Bulletproof coffee” has become a buzzword on social media, according to FMC Health and Nutrition, a global ingredients supplier that tracks on-line activity to predict food trends.
“(Buttered coffee) is something that isn’t mainstream yet — you can’t go to the store and necessarily buy Bulletproof Coffee — but people are making it, (and) it seems like a ripe opportunity for someone who can develop a concept that can be taken to the masses,” said Marshall Fong, global consumer insights director at FMC, in a recent interview with Food Business News. “What might be surprising about ‘bulletproof coffee’ is if you look at the amount of conversation that is happening around it on social media versus maybe some of the more well-known brands of coffee or coffee creamers, it’s probably around the same level.”
Among dozens of new brands exhibiting at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York in June was Coffee Blocks, which are packets of instant butter coffee drink that contain grass-fed clarified butter, organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic fair trade coffee, organic egg yolk and organic vanilla. When combined with hot water, a serving contains 170 calories, 18 grams of fat, including 14 grams of saturated fat, and 1 gram of protein.For those who may be squeamish about sipping coffee blended with butter, the creators of Coffee Blocks explain: “Putting butter in coffee is really no different than adding heavy cream. Butter is heavy cream that has been churned.”