In May of this year we reported on the drastic redesign of Seattle’s Best Coffee. Our super scientific polls revealed that out of 4,542 votes, 46% were of the opinion that such a big change was a bad move and 25% thought it was a smart one. In terms of execution, out of 4,524 votes, 35% thought the execution was bad and 24% great. The pendulum certainly swings to the negative but not too heavily. A big part of their relaunch was the notion of making coffee consumption simpler and more accessible, whether it was getting SBC at a vending machine, from Burger King, or movie theaters. At the grocery store, SBC is simplifying the selection process with a new packaging system based on levels, announced yesterday.
With the new Level System, consumers will be able to easily find and choose from a selection of Seattle’s Best Coffee blends that span the entire range of coffee enjoyment, from a mild, light, crisp Level 1 to a bold, dark and intense Level 5. Each Level represents a finely tuned recipe crafted from decades of roasting experience, blended from beans carefully chosen for their nuances and characteristics, and carrying the hallmark taste of Seattle’s Best Coffee: velvety, round and smooth.
In addition to Levels 1 through 5, consumers can choose from a decaffeinated blend, an Organic Fair Trade CertifiedTM blend and flavored coffees Cinnamon (“C”) and Hazelnut (“H”). The new Level System lineup will begin replacing the existing Seattle’s Best Coffee products on shelves beginning in December.
— Press Release
The new packaging is remarkably better than the old one, no doubt about it. It’s even better than packaging in other categories too. It’s simple, striking, colorful and it will stand out in the shelf. It’s interesting that the logo becomes almost a tertiary element, behind the level numbers and the color coding. The logo, now tilted, is still weird and too clinical for my taste (in branding, not coffee) and now feels almost out of place with its thick borders against the lighter look of the packaging. But overall, this is a very nice consumer package update and it’s nice to see some relative restraint in the graphics.