Wednesday, September 02, 2015

That's How You Sell Coffee

Back in the old days, Hills Bros Coffee used this sleepy old Ethiopian man in a nightgown to sell coffee. He's shuffling through the kitchen, guzzling his coffee with abandon, praying to his God that the waking powers of the ground beans will jolt his old ass up out of his stupor. It's not working.

Turns out, however, he's not just trying to wake up. He's a connoisseur. He's known as "The Taster."

A young artist named Briggs offers to create a company trademark. His design, the ‘taster’, inspired by the coffee’s Ethiopian origin, is welcomed by Austin and R.W. A life-size statue is still present at the Hills Bros. San Francisco building.

A white Ethiopian. OK. That's what you get in 1906, I guess. Not sure when Hills Bros. ditched Sleepy Grandpa, but he's left the scene in favor of font-only packaging.

But moving forward...

Now that the Keurig system has taken over the world, putting all other home brew systems virtually out of business (and completely shutting down the very fine Senseo brand, which made a better cup than Keurig as far as I was concerned) we have more than enough options as far as brand and flavor.  Yes, Hills Bros. is still in the game, along with perennial players Folger's and Maxwell House, but I'm sure they're all lagging far behind Keurig's own brand, Green Mountain, makers of Dark Magic, Donut Shop and probably whatever you have in your kitchen. Starbucks has a nice chunk of the market, no doubt, but I say make way for some old players in youthed-up packaging.

Enter these kids selling Cafe Bustelo, a very rich, old Spanish/Puerto Rican/Cuban blend (a long story - check their website for the history). It's pretty much an espresso roast available in K-cups. It packs a mean morning punch, as evidenced by their ultra-caffeinated feats of acrobatic daring, gravity-defying gyrations and crazy smiles. These kids are JACKED.

Various incarnations of these young Latin coffee addicts appear on the packaging of Cafe Bustelo K-cups. Look for them at your grocer's.

I was not paid for this endorsement. But I should've been.  

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