Exploring The Different Types Of Coffee Creamers

Sometimes, what goes in your gourmet coffee can be as important as the coffee itself. In 1961 Nestle revolutionized the way we drink our coffee by introducing the world's first non-dairy powdered coffee creamer. Borden's followed not long after with Cremora, and powdered non-dairy creamer became a staple in many American kitchens.

In the mid-70s, Rich Foods introduced Coffee Rich non-dairy liquid creamer, marketing it as a creamy substitute for half-and-half for those who could not tolerate milk, or were avoiding dairy fats. Since then, things have not been the same. These days, half the dairy freezer at the supermarket is filled with non-dairy coffee creamers in a wide variety of brands and flavors, some especially created to accent gourmet coffee.

In 1980, a new player hit the supermarket shelves. International Delight made it easy to have delicious flavored coffees at home, without having to buy expensive flavored coffee. You could buy it in the dairy aisle in any one of three flavors: Irish Cream, Cinnamon Hazelnut or French Vanilla. Within months, Coffee-mate followed with its own line of coffee creamers, featuring Vanilla, Hazelnut and Irish Cream flavors. Since then, both companies have taken to introducing new flavors, limited edition flavors and holiday flavors on a regular basis. Take a look at what the major players in the coffee creamer market are offering.


The first and still the biggest of the bunch, Coffee-Mate has expanded its line enormously over the past few years. Catering to their customers' tastes, Coffee-Mate has even held contests to allow customers to choose their limited edition flavors (vanilla chai spice and coconut crème are the two most recent entries). Coffee-Mate now offers twenty different flavors, including:


Amaretto, Chocolate Raspberry, Cinnamon Vanilla Crème, Coconut Crème, Crème Brulee, Vanilla Crème, French Vanilla, Hazelnut, Irish Crème, Toffee Nut, Vanilla Caramel, Vanilla Nut and Vanilla Chai Spice

Seasonal Flavors

Eggnog, Gingerbread, Peppermint, Mocha, Pumpkin Spice

Special Edition

Blueberry Cobbler, Pralines & Crème

However, there are many other differences between coffee creamers than just the flavors. Coffee-mate especially has introduced some innovations in packaging and in chemical makeup to enhance its brand. For those watching their fat and sugar intake, among the specialty coffee creamers made by Coffee-mate, are fat free and sugar free versions of many of its most popular flavors (in case you were wondering, all the Coffee-mate flavors have 0% trans fat). In addition, they offer coffee creamers in three different forms: powdered, liquid and the newest, concentrate - which comes in a very cool portion controlled pump bottle. Any cup of gourmet coffee will benefit from a specialty coffee creamer.

You can also buy Coffee-Mate in several different kinds of packaging. The standard liquid creamer needs to be refrigerated, but if you buy Coffee-Mate in individual serving size plastic cups (boxes of 50), you can keep them on the shelf. The powdered Coffee-Mate variety, which comes in most of the same flavors as the liquid (including fat-free and sugar-free), also does not require refrigeration.

Coffee-Mate comes in original, non-flavored versions, both liquid and powdered, and has recently announced that it will be introducing a non-dairy half-and-half in the near future.

International Delight

When International Delight introduced their portion-control liquid flavored coffee creamers, they launched an entire new category of food products. International Delight was marketed as a luxury, and it certainly tasted like one. International Delight is now available in nine different flavors, including fat free and reduced sugar versions of their most popular flavors. The International Delight flavors include:

Original Flavors

Amaretto, Cinnamon Hazelnut, French Vanilla, Hazelnut, Irish Crème, Southern Butter Pecan, Vanilla Hazelnut, Vanilla Toffee Caramel and Hershey's Chocolate Caramel

Fat Free Flavors

Fat Free Amaretto, Fat Free Cinnamon Hazelnut, Fat Free French Vanilla, and Fat Free Irish Crème

Reduced Sugar Flavors

Reduced Sugar French Vanilla and Reduced Sugar Hazelnut.

International Delight coffee creamer is available in pints, quarts and individual portion control sizes. The pints and quarts must be refrigerated, but the individual single portion cups can be stored on your cupboard shelf until they are opened. Similar to Coffee-Mate, International Delight is non-dairy and certified kosher, though both popular non-dairy creamers contain sodium caseinate, which is made from solidified milk.

If you happen to run a coffee service or offer gourmet or regular coffee in the break room at your office, providing a variety of flavored non-dairy coffee creamers is a great way to give your customers or employees a choice of flavors without having the make separate pots of coffee to satisfy every taste.

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About The Author, Stephanie Larkin