Forgetting Forgettable Brands

Readers, take a look at these photos of a can of Chock Full O' Nuts brand coffee, front and back:

This was a well-known coffee brand to anyone growing up prior to the 1970s or early 80s. Millennials, however, have never heard of this brand. And Gen Z will need trigger warnings before they learn what coffee is.

Imagine if you were CEO of the consumer products company that bought this brand[1] right before an entire generational turnover in coffee buyers, and, to your horror, that next generation of coffee consumers had absolutely no institutional memory of your brand of coffee. So much so that they needed to be told that this is coffee.

Also, keep in mind: we're in the OMG PEANUT! era, which explains why this company feels the need to inform us this product "contains no nuts."

Worse still, because it doesn't cost twice as much and say "fair trade" or "sustainable" somewhere on the label, earnest young consumers will assume this coffee was either harvested by slaves, packaged by a company that literally hates the planet, or both.

At the end of the day, this is a can of unremarkable commodity arabica coffee, little different from any of the other brands sitting on the shelf next to it--including the much lower-priced store brand. Readers here at CK know this and are quick to use this to their advantage, buying this commodity coffee when on sale at significant discounts, and not buying it when not.

But to a consumer products company--or to an investor in a consumer products company--this is an unmitigated disaster. New consumers don't even know what this product is. The brand has no value to them.

Keep this in mind, as both a consumer and an investor, as you navigate the consumer products landscape.

[1] The (current) owner of Chock Full O' Nuts coffee is the Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group, a privately-owned Italian company that owns several coffee brands including Hill Bros, Chase and Sanborn and others.

You can help support the work I do here at Casual Kitchen by visiting Amazon via any link on this site. Amazon pays a small commission to me based on whatever purchase you make on that visit, and it's at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

And, if you are interested at all in cryptocurrencies, yet another way you can help support my work here is to use this link to open up your own cryptocurrency account at Coinbase. I will receive a small affiliate commission with each opened account. Once again, thank you for your support!

No comments: