Coffee, Tea & Hot drinks

Home or away?

Tesco’s premium private label adopts the codes of import/export trading, sporting faux stamps and handwritten ‘blackboards’. Mixing metaphors at will, these are placed at an angle to symbolise the personal touch (only machines put them on straight, it seems). The black matt bags with contrasting bright foil coding colours is a sensual treat, suggesting high…

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Follow the leader

The simple bright red ‘brick’ of Douwe Egberts Aroma Rood is an icon in The Netherlands, and it’s been recently restored to that status by some much-needed design simplification (the white top stays because that’s part of the packaging memory structure). Albert Heijn’s pack makes clear that this is not ownable, but it still needs…

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A Great British cup of… coffee?

Despite our long association with tea, there are a handful of British companies with a coffee heritage (often related to coffee and tea houses, that flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries). Taylor’s of Harrogate new design sticks with its long-standing use of art metaphors to capture the feeling that each blend offers.…

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Bean there

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…

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Top Gear

Several Instant Coffee Blends on a Supermarket Shelf

Not quite ready to leave the safe world of Instant coffee for the unknown territory of pods, pads and capsules? Then take a small step into the brushed aluminium showroom of wholebean (or all bean) instants. Borrowing colour codes from coffee machines and other hardware, these tins, cans and pouches speak the language of ‘improved…

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It’s frothy, man!

Nescafe Sachets Packaging on Shelf

In a previous blog I was quite scathing about the undifferentiated mass of big foam shots in this category of instant coffee shop favourites. But one glance at this new design convinced me that Nescafé identified the problem and now own this shelf. Although the spoon of shaving (I mean coffee) foam is superbly executed…

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Count the circles

Several Coffee Pods Packages on a Supermarket Shelf

Aha! So the brown circle is part of a new brand design strategy for Nescafé. The trouble here is that it’s not really integrated into the wider story. That and the fact that everyone here has gone circle crazy Don’t get me wrong, there are some great meanings associated with the circle, for example: Unity,…

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Round and round again

You can trust the Italians to put some emotion into this functional category, surely? Ah, well no, or at least not here from Lavazza’s ‘A Modo Mio’. The name describes the way Italians each have their ideal, very personal coffee style, but the packaging seems to go to great lengths to look like everybody else’s.…

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Don’t confuse pads with pods. Both are round.

Senseo from Douwe Egberts pre-dates the dawn of the pods, having invented pads. The company teamed up with Philips to create the first truly mass-market machine/coffee combination, but they’ve had ‘Senseo compatible’ competitors for many years already. As a result Senseo does not use a lot of packaging real estate explaining the system any more,…

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Back to black

Perhaps the French can help us with the emotional side of these sexy little capsules? Indeed they can, with both of these well-known names staying firmly on-brand by celebrating the allure of dressing in black. There’s still clear communication of a system (or as Carte Noire prefers, ‘Collection’), but here it’s about coffee type, strength…

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