The Explosion Of Coffee Brands

The supermarket shelf today looks completely different than it did, say, 15 years ago – perhaps not even that long ago.

As people become more aware of the choices around them in the world, both commercially and otherwise, tastes begin to shift and develop; experimentation becomes the norm and people grow ever more adventurous with their sampling and buying habits.

Coffee has, for quite some time, been seen a chic and sophisticated beverage, but with the introduction of the cheaper variety of instant coffee brands it became less of a luxury item, and took up a regular spot next to the tea caddy and sugar bowl.

Perhaps to redress the balance, and bring coffee back to the main stage, ‘fresh’ ground coffee started to become more accessible (whilst maintaining the price gap between it, and instant). Slowly, but very surely, this trend began to spread – bringing with it a growing spectrum of choice not just in the coffee itself, but also in the equipment that became necessary to brew your new and exoctic drink.

There has been something of a franchise ‘explosion’ too, with the likes of Starbucks springing up on every street corner – at least, that’s how it feels sometimes.

Franchise coffee chains have become the new instant coffee, and many believe the art of coffee making has suffered as a result.

Enter, The Boutique Coffee House

Bringing coffee back into the spotlight, and making it a semi-luxury product again, boutique coffee houses are the perfect antidote to the ‘stack ‘em high,sell ‘em cheap’ mentality of the franchise industry.

When it comes to making their patrons feel like they are experiencing pure quality and affordable luxury, these guys really have it nailed down. Company, and product, branding are very important and in an overcrowded market it can mean the difference between success and failure for many businesses. WoodenWall

When you visit a boutique coffee house for the first time, the thing that is most likely going to strike you first is the decor of the establishment. Some coffee houses go the route of the rustic approach, with solid wood furniture and flooring, with perhaps antique coffee paraphernalia on show as ornaments.

Contemporary Asian Style Coffee Shop

Others look more like chic wine bars, with chrome edges and a central bar area. One thing they all have in common, though, is that they all look stunning in their own way. The amount of effort that goes into the branding as a whole is impressive, as is the outcome.

The word ‘cool’ may seem a little dated, but it fits the boutique coffee house ‘scene’ perfectly. From the decor of the premises, right down to the takeaway paper cups; nothing is overlooked and everything has an air of understated quality and luxury.

As already stated, coffee has always held a certain attraction and prestige; even instant coffee can have a certain ‘air’ about it. Coffee is still very much a luxury item, in the sense that it can bring a sense of well being and contentment to the imbiber – this kind of luxury has nothing to do with cost, and everything to do with the experience; something that all coffees have in common, regardless of cost or location (a mug of cheap instant coffee in the kitchen, can have the same soothing effect as a more expensive cup in a capital city boutique).

Rain Forest black coffee

Packaging is a vital part of this experience, and sleek chic is often the weapon of choice for many brands. A matte black backdrop for a bold foreground image, for example, can make a striking impression, and can convey quality in the split second of a glance.

Contemporary branding does not rule the roost, however, and some people find a sense of authenticity more appealing. Sturdy, recyclable, paper style bags with understated labeling and colours can have the same appeal as a more ‘modern’ approach – done properly by a professional packaging design agency, of course.

Not Just Your Average Joe

The main thing to remember about coffee is just how versatile it is; from iced to having a blob of whipped cream on the top, coffee can be used in a variety of ways and it is the ultimate aim of the coffee houses and brands to wean people away from the tried and trusted and into their inviting arms. This is the reason why packaging and branding is so important, and why a packaging design agency becomes vital when it comes to injecting the cool factor into the branding of a coffee product and business.

The first thing many brands try to do, is to remind people that there is more choice out there than just Costa and Starbucks.

You can sit there morning, noon and night, firing off emails, reading the newspaper, and drinking copious amounts of overpriced coffee. And that’s the main point isn’t it; the options are always the same, the decor is a near carbon copy of every other outlet and the prices do not accurately reflect the quality. And yet you can’t stop ordering the same old, same old venti iced coffee blended soya goat chin whatever….

Coffee is an awesome product, and sometimes the chains make coffee lovers everywhere give a little involuntary shudder.

With the help of professional design agencies, coffee brands are making their products cool again.

Check back again soon to see our pick of the best coffee brands and packaging design.

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