CPG INNOVATION & BRAND REFRESH

4 WEEK PROJECT

Took Maxwell House back to their roots to reshape their future.

THE BRIEF

BACKGROUND

Coffee culture has been hijacked. Let's take it back.

Maxwell House built America’s coffee culture.

Maxwell House invented the coffee break as a way to sell more coffee. That break was then cited by unions as the reason for a workforce right. During the Great Depression and World War II, Maxwell House built a supply chain that drove down the price of coffee and made it accessible to everyday people.

CULTURAL TENSION

"Coffee" doesn't mean coffee anymore.

 

Thanks to Starbucks, Dunkin' and every local coffee purveyor - coffee can mean an almond milk latte, a caramel macchiato or even a green tea. 

CATEGORY TENSION

Coffee has become too complicated.

 

Packaged coffee companies are competing with Starbucks for latte and mocha drinkers without any real chance of converting them.

BRAND TENSION

Maxwell House lost its meaning.

Having Maxwell House on your table or a branded thermos at work used to be a symbol of the middle class. Starbucks cups have taken that status.

CONSUMER INSIGHT

For Maxwell House drinkers, coffee isn't about what's in the mug. It's about all of the people around the coffee pot.

I drink Maxwell House...

Morgan

ER Nurse

"...on a quick break with co-workers in the ER. That's assuming we get a break at all."

Ronald

Police Officer

"...when I get home from night shift so I can stay up and see friends and family."

Brett

Firefighter

"...in-between calls. The kitchen, by the coffee pot, is where we all hang out."

STRATEGY

Ground coffee for grounded people. 

Ground Maxwell House as the coffee for working class connection.

TARGET

The New Working Class

 

These are the unsung heroes that make our everyday possible. They don't buy into the $6 coffee culture. To them, coffee is an essential part of work and life -  day or night.

REBRAND

A classic and timeless look inspired by union worker patches.

 

A cleaner logo simplifies and updates the Maxwell House brand, while a new tag —“Ground coffee for grounded people”—stakes the new brand voice as a part of working class culture.

PACKAGE DESIGN

Traditional Coffee

The packaging design provides a pop of color and differentiation on an overcrowded isle. 

Industrial/Restaurant 

K-cup Packaging

Instant Coffee

LINE SIMPLIFICATION

Maxwell House has hundreds of different products from years of product extensions. 8 of their classics make up nearly 80% of sales. We paired down the selection to remain grounded and more simplistic in our offerings.

We still plan to use seasonal releases to test new flavors. 

 

Our summer line is best used as cold brew to fight seasonality, while the fall and winter lines are designed for hot consumption.

PRODUCT INNOVATION

Cold Brew Grounds

While coffee grows at 3.6% CAGR, Cold Brew grows at 24.6% and when making cold brew people use 1.8x more grounds.

Maxwell House's bold, "slightly burnt", taste makes it the perfect ground to use for cold brew. No brand has packaged their product in this way and Maxwell House can be first to market in the category.

Cold Brew Ice Cubes

We repeatedly heard from the new working class that their coffee would become cold or watered down because of the mental focus it took to be on the job. We fixed the watered down problem. 

The bag is insulated so even if you don't use the ice cubes, you can end a long day or night of work with a cold brew to keep you going.

LAUNCH 

We  created a launch video to reintroduce Maxwell House as the coffee of the new working class.

I don't know what I'm doing, but I know how to figure it out.

Jackie