Review: Omni Cold Brew
Covers Products: Unsweetened Original Black, Unsweetened Vanilla Almond, Good Morning Saigon
Omni is a line of premium ready-to-drink Vietnamese cold brew coffee that is available in two nitro-infused versions and one that is dairy based and sweetened. The company utilizes beans from the Central Highlands of Vietnam in all three of its products.
Let’s start with the two nitro-infused products, Original Black and Vanilla Almond. Both varieties, each packaged in 9.5 ounce cans with a shrink sleeve label, are unsweetened, clocking in at 5 calories per can. Vanilla Almond contains natural flavors, while the Original Black is just cold brew coffee.
We’re slightly more partial towards the unflavored variety, which is cleaner tasting. Otherwise, both of these products are pretty typical of the category. They are bold with a smooth finish and, as is typical with cold brews, have a less acidic flavor than hot brew. With these two SKUs Omni has successfully created cold brews that can hold their own with (but don’t stand out from) the pack.
The third SKU, Good Morning Saigon, is a Vietnamese style brew made with coffee and condensed milk. This flavor stands on its own; it has 250 calories and 35 grams of sugar per 10 oz PET bottle, which itself looks different than the other varieties. It’s rich, milky, and very sweet to the point of being more of a milk drink than a coffee drink.
From our perspective, Good Morning Saigon is too stark of a contrast from Omni’s other products, and too much of an indulgence to be consumed regularly. We think they’d be better off dialing up the coffee and lowering the calories and sugar significantly.
On the outside, Omni’s branding features a a modern aesthetic that’s heavy on black. This design concept starts with the Omni name and logo, which is a circle (for the “O”) with a slightly abstract looking “MNI” placed inside the circle. The lower portion of the container features an illustration of mountains, which we can only assume is to give the product a visual nod to its Vietnam roots.
While this design looks polished and professional in terms of its execution, we think there’s work to be done to make it into something that functions well in the cold brew set. For starters, the execution of the logo and branding feels somewhat sterile and technical in comparison to other brands in the space. And for those consumers that do pick this up, we think they’ll be hard pressed to recognize and remember the brand. Finally, we’d like to see a consistent naming approach across all three SKUs. Good Morning Saigon is quite different than the more matter-of-fact can offerings.
Overall, Omni is a solid cold brew line, but we feel as though this competitive and crowded set will require the brand to evolve and more clearly communicate its points of differentiation.