Review: Peet’s Ready to Drink Cold Brew Offers a Familiar Approach and Solid Execution
Covers Products: Cold Brew Coffee - Baridi Black, Cold Brew Coffee - Coffee Au Lait, Cold Brew Coffee - Dark Chocolate
Peet’s, which is a premium coffee roaster and retailer that operates several hundred coffee shops and also has wholesale distribution, is joining the ranks of established coffee players that are now taking their flagship brands into the ready to drink cold-brew category. Their line, which was announced in late July 2016, includes 3 SKUs and will be available in both their cafes and grocery stores in the San Francisco area.
The products come in two distinct forms: an unsweetened and unflavored offering packaged in a 12 oz. glass bottle and a dairy-based variety packaged in a 10 oz. milk carton and available in two flavors. Both of these product lines exhibit high quality attributes and are enjoyable, albeit for different reasons.
Starting with the straight cold-brew, which requires refrigeration just like the dairy-based offerings, they’ve created something that is quite enjoyable. Using their East African Baridi Blend of coffee, the product has no other ingredients aside from coffee and water. It’s bold and smooth, with a light fruit note to the finish. While it’s hard to really get into the nuances of comparing one cold-brew to another (and, really, these nuances aren’t what’s going to make or break one brand over another anyway), this is a refreshing and thirst quenching blend.
As for the dairy-based products, which come in Coffee Au Lait and Dark Chocolate Varieties, they’ve done a great job of keeping the coffee as the focal point. The milk, sugar, and flavor (in the case of the Dark Chocolate) are accents that enhance rather than detract from the underlying coffee. They’ve done a great job of creating formulations that are cafe-grade riffs on an iced mocha and iced latte (with cold-brew instead of espresso, of course). Both of these are very drinkable and, unlike some of the other dairy-based cold-brews out there, aren’t drowning in milk.
While the packaging is different between the two lines, the branding is relatively standardized. Both formats feature “COLD BREW” as the key visual element, with the Peet’s branding being in smaller lettering above it. The cartons also have the addition of a Peet’s logo, but it feels somewhat disconnected and it isn’t, at least in our opinion, a logo that really has a ton of equity by itself. The package doesn’t exactly exude cool or hip vibes, but it’s clean and professional style combined with the Peet’s name make it credible and have the feeling of a really high-quality product.The end result of all of this is a cold-brew line that is familiar, with its key benefits being the Peet’s name and the solid execution of the liquid that’s inside the containers. So while the consumer won’t necessarily be finding anything new or overly unique with this line, we think it’s fine -- at least for someone with the brand equity that Peet’s has -- to be going at it with an eye for consistency and quality. And that’s exactly what they’ve done.