Seattle’s Best Coffee has been roasting premium coffee since 1970. In January, the Starbucks-owned brand set out to radically simplify the category with the debut of its ‘level system’. The new packaging uses numbers and bold colors to help shoppers identify the roast of each blend and to find a coffee that fits their taste profile-from a mild Level 1 to a dark, intense Level 5.
The rebranding was also designed to expand the Seattle’s Best Coffee portfolio, introducing two milder, lighter blends thought to appeal to mainstream coffee consumers.
“When we introduced [the level system,] our goal was to fill a gap in the packaged coffee aisle with an approachable premium coffee,” says Jeff Hansberry, president of Seattle’s Best Coffee.
The Bottom Line: Less than one year after its launch, Seattle’s Best Coffee is reporting that its ‘level system’ is making significant impact-proven by double-digit sales growth that is outpacing the premium coffee category. Research indicates that about 30 percent of all ‘levels’ purchasers are new to the Seattle’s Best Coffee brand and that the percentage of consumers under age 35 purchasing Seattle’s Best has also increased since the previous year. The new, lighter blends are also proving their appeal: sales of Levels 1 and 2 account for 16 percent of all Seattle's Best sales.