Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Coffee, Marketing, and You.

How Gevalia is packaged in Sweden 

In my past “corporate” life, I had the opportunity to travel to Sweden a couple times a year. While visiting I enjoyed the robust kaffe (coffee), usually Gevalia, one of the big brands there.

I’d bring back a couple of bright red “bricks” for brewing at home.  My impression was that this was the “Maxwell House” of Sweden (that brand is also sold there, by the way), and it was priced accordingly.

Gevalia was available in the U.S. at that time only by subscription that included a coffee maker sporting the brand name. Seemed expensive to me; the advertising made it sound quite exotic and premium. That option still exists and the packaging still looks mighty fancy.

But something happened. A month or so ago, I noticed Gevalia in my local food store. And now it was sporting a new color on the package, yellow, complemented by a touch of blue; does that sound like a certain country’s flag? The premium attitude projected to the U.S. now looked whimsical. Huh?

My curiosity got the best of me. First stop, their website. The homepage greeted me in cheery yellow glory where the emphasis was the mail order delivery program. Clicking on coffee on the menu, there was a pull down menu that included “Gevalia in Store”. Try as I might, the menu would disappear before my cursor could get there. After getting to that page via the site map here’s what I found:

This was BEFORE I actually tried a search. Once checking it out, I found that this is a search for what is available on the website, not a search to see where locations where the coffee is sold. Sigh.

Moving on to the Facebook page, I found a stereotype Swede serving as a spokesperson with blonde hair and blue eyes named Johan. Plenty of chatter about ordering coffee, but no announcement about products in grocery stores.

A quick Google search revealed that the brand is now being sold in Wal-Mart  and Target. And a Kraft logo was above the blurb for Gevalia! Aha! Now we’re brewing.

However, no articles were found about the move to retail. Why so quiet, Kraft? Should this blog post have been entitled “Craftiness, Marketing, and You”? Is this a roll out that’s meant not to disturb the current customers who are probably paying a pretty penny for the “coffee of the month”? And what happens when they DO find out? Or will the home delivery of product via snail mail cease to exist?

Too early to tell if this is working for them and there are no clues to be found. It’s all so mysterious.

As a salute to Gevalia’s newest marketing efforts, enjoy this tune that has lots of caffeine. Click here.

This blog is part of April's A to Z Challenge. Here's links to B and A.

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