P&G PLANS AN INDIANA TEST OF ULTRACONCENTRATED COFFEE

CINCINNATI -- The ultraconcentrated product trend marches on at Procter & Gamble Co. here, with ultra coffee about to make its debut.P&G said it is offering an Ultra Folgers line of ground coffee to retailers in Evansville, Ind., for a marketing test to begin in October.Retailers with stores there include Buehler Foods, Jasper, Ind.; Easter Stores, Altoona, Iowa; Food Giant Supermarkets, Sikeston,

CINCINNATI -- The ultraconcentrated product trend marches on at Procter & Gamble Co. here, with ultra coffee about to make its debut.

P&G said it is offering an Ultra Folgers line of ground coffee to retailers in Evansville, Ind., for a marketing test to begin in October.

Retailers with stores there include Buehler Foods, Jasper, Ind.; Easter Stores, Altoona, Iowa; Food Giant Supermarkets, Sikeston, Mo.; Schnuck Markets, St. Louis. Wal-Mart and Kmart also operate stores in the vicinity. P&G declined to discuss the duration of the Evansville test.

P&G said Ultra Folgers uses new technology that releases more flavor and aroma from fewer beans. As a result, consumers need only scoop half the regular amount to make a full-bodied pot of coffee.

Ultra Folgers will be available in a ground, automatic drip form in six varieties, including decaffeinated versions. All varieties come in two sizes: 7.9-ounce and one-pound, 7.8-ounce cans. Classic Roast regular and decaffeinated will also be available in 15.8-ounce cans.

Ultra Folgers will not supplant the original Folgers line. Since less coffee is used, list prices will be 30 cents to 90 cents less than a traditional can of Folgers, depending on the can size.

"The bottom line is that there is a lot of potential in the coffee bean that is there waiting to be liberated," Wendy Jacques, a P&G spokeswoman, told SN. "Current coffee processing technology just wasn't releasing the flavor and aroma." She said P&G expects the new product to expand the Folgers franchise.

Procter & Gamble has also expanded its ultra product emphasis into the household cleaner category, with ultraconcentrated line extensions Spic N' Span and Mr. Clean.