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Coffee (At Home) Wars: Battle Of The Quarantine-Friendly Brews

May 1, 2020 Carolyn Harding

Millions of consumers can’t imagine a morning without a cup of hot coffee in hand, with American consumers drinking on average two cups of coffee every day. As so much of the world continues practicing social distancing, packaged coffee sales soared more than 24% among retail channels during the month of March, according to recent research data from Nielsen. Looking ahead, the global coffee pod and capsule market is expected to grow from $15.23 billion in 2017 to $29.2 billion by 2025, encouraging many at-home coffee brands to get creative in their marketing strategies in order to get ahead.

Folgers Refreshes Brand Identity Just In Time For Sales Spike

Folgers, a brand of J.M. Smuckers, was the leading brand of regular ground coffee in the U.S. in 2019, ranking high with consumers and earning more than $1 billion in revenue. With plans of entering into 2020 with that same competitive edge, Folgers launched a fresh take on its classic “The Best Part of Wakin’ Up Is Folgers in Your Cup” campaign. The effort aims to break the tension of stressful mornings with a hot cup of Folgers coffee. The campaign ran across three broadcast spots, online video, digital banners, social media and digital radio as part of the Folgers approach to drive brand growth among younger consumers and make the iconic Folgers name more relevant to Millennials and Gen Z.

“Over the last year we have been on a journey to transform our brands creatively, and we now have proof points in this new creative work for Folgers Coffee,” said Liz Mayer, J.M. Smucker Consumer Engagement & Omnichannel Customer Marketing Lead. “We needed to reinvigorate what is ownable to the brand's DNA, yet do it in a modern, relatable way and the new campaign delivers just that.”

Keurig Creates A Discounted “Starter Kit” To Entice Sales

Keurig is capitalizing on the rise of consumers spending more time – and drinking more coffee – at home, with the creation of the Keurig “Starter Kit.” Consumers simply “build” their coffee kits by picking their machines, pods and delivery schedules. Consumers who create kits will receive 50% off select Keurig machines, 20% off the coffee pods or bags and free shipping. The only catch is that consumers must commit to an auto-delivery schedule and buy at least 16 boxes of pods and/or bags of Keurig coffee over the course of a year. 

Keurig CEO Bob Gamgort also recently vowed to make single pods in the U.S. recyclable by the end of 2020, stating, “It’s part of a bigger program to make sure that our environmental footprint is down.” Gamgort hopes the brand’s commitment to reduce its use of energy, water and solid waste, and use more recyclable products, will attract younger consumers, as he noted this generation wants “healthier products and those products that have a much lower impact on the environment.”

DTC Coffee Company ‘Trade’ Launches Virtual Campaign

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) subscription coffee service Trade hopped on the virtual meetup craze for their latest marketing campaign. Releasing its first video ad, Trade highlighted the appeal of getting together virtually for coffee during the pandemic, showing a dozen Trade employees discussing the bizarre “new normal” the world is living in. Each employee shot video footage from their personal phones, while receiving direction from a director via one of the video panels. The ad strategically places information about Trade’s coffee delivery capabilities along with its vow to donate $2 from the first bag in every order to support roasters and baristas affected by the closure of coffee shops.

Trade's recent campaign aims to build brand awareness through uplifting messaging and by tapping into the current videoconferencing uptick on platforms like Zoom to both work and socialize. The ad sends a positive message of acknowledging the bizarre and uncertain times we are living in, while encouraging consumers to look on the bright side using the phrase, “at least we have coffee.” Trade’s subtle nod to its donations to coffee shop employees has the potential of appealing to consumers who want to purchase from brands that share their values and are interested in hearing how brands are helping out communities in response to the pandemic.

At-home coffee sales are falling in line with the “pantry-loading” effect we are seeing much of the country adapting as consumers continue to limit their shopping to the bare necessities. For at-home coffee brands trying to remain a must-have item in the eyes of consumers, marketers will need to showcase their convenience and unique offerings to compete in what has become a crowded space.

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About the Author

Carolyn Harding

Carolyn Harding is an Associate Manager of Communications at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. DMS helps its clients accelerate growth by deploying diversified and data-driven customer acquisition solutions that deliver scalable, sustainable and measurable marketing results. DMS performance marketing solutions connect the right consumers with the right offers at the right time to achieve the marketing objectives of our clients. DMS is continually innovating to provide new and emerging media and technology solutions that minimize waste and maximize results across the most competitive industries. Since its inception, DMS has demonstrated incredible year-over-year growth which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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