Several Instant Coffee Blends on a Supermarket Shelf

Welcome to instant coffee world UK, where the dominant code has become a faceted, tall jar with a robust plastic lid. Previously a single variant, Nescafé’s Gold Blend now sports at least four extensions in the form of Black Gold, Gold Crema, First Harvest (a Fairtrade style initiative), and Barista Blend (which comes in a cool, curvy tin). The ‘Gold’ metaphor is iconised through the hallmarked bean and the coloured lid that subliminally reminds your unconscious of a traditional coffee pot.

Kenco follows at a respectful distance, using similar jar design metaphors but adopting the colour red, effectively replacing Nescafé’s entry level ‘red cup’ pack that has largely disappeared from UK shelves. For those of us who remember the brief but exciting life of Brooke Bond’s Red Mountain coffee, Kenco has borrowed that metaphor too, giving a slightly more adventurous angle to an otherwise very safe purchase.