Private Label Buyer Blog


The Calculus of Coffee

August 22, 2013

Over my coffee this morning (K-cup Caribou Obsidian), I ran across a new piece from Bloomberg on the current leaders in the retail coffee game (“Sorry Coffee Snobs, America’s Favorite Is Still Folgers”). Despite the continual diversification of the coffee category, Folgers sits in the No. 1 slot, followed by Maxwell House and then private label. While private label can run the gamut in terms of types and styles of coffee, those top two—Folgers and Maxwell House—are designed to meet the expectations of as many consumers as possible. And they’re winning the game.

And as I perused this news and sipped my decidedly non-mainstream coffee (that Obsidian from Caribou is really quite fantastic…), I couldn’t help but call to mind my old friend Howard Moskowitz, a brilliant individual who infuses product development with experimental psychology. The last time I ran into Howard, he gave me a copy of his most-recent book, “Selling Blue Elephants,” which outlines the process he applied to the reformulation of Maxwell House coffee back in the 1980s in a chapter dubbed “Maxwell House’s Calculus of Coffee.” The methodology Howard applies to this process, something he calls Rule Developing Experimentation, is a strong lesson for anyone who is looking to scientifically help determine strong “liking” of a product across multiple consumer demographics, each with their own criteria for what makes a good cup of coffee (or any product, for that matter).

Our industry continues to see niche segments emerge—avenues that can prove profitable when approached in the right manner. But the grand-slam home run comes from products that can capably multitask across numerous segments of our society.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

September 2014 New Food Products

This month's new food products include cane sugars, barbeque sauce, condiments in squeeze bottles, cinnamon snack seasoning, and jalapeno tzatziki, ice cream, herb toasts, corn puffs, instant coffee, coconut water, and a water enhancer.

Podcasts

Coming with a clear, comprehensive plan was the key to success for Longo Brothers Fruit Markets when the grocer decided to roll out a two-tier private label strategy, Jenny Longo and Robert Koss tell PLBuyer editor Chris Freeman in this podcast.

More Podcasts

Private Label Buyer Magazine

PLB September 2014 cover

September 2014

The September 2014 issue of Private Label Buyer includes a convenience channel update, as well as category insights on frozen store brand trends and health and beauty items. Check it out today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Private Label Segments

Which segment of private label will see the biggest growth over the next year?
View Results Poll Archive

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

PLB Marketplace

STAY CONNECTED

facebook_40px twitter_40px  youtube_40pxlinkedin_40pxgoogle+ icon 40px