Review: Picnik Adds New Coffee Skus + Matcha
Covers Products: Butter Coffee - Extra Bold, Butter Coffee - Vanilla Latte, Golden Matcha Milk
Earlier this summer, Austin Tex.-based Picnik announced three flavor extensions to their line of MCT oil enhanced beverages: Extra Bold Coffee, Vanilla Latte, and Gold Milk Matcha.
With a fresh round of investment in their coiffers, extending their line of ready-to-drink beverages (along with a recently announced a line of creamers) seems like a pretty good idea. Why? Their first three offerings, which included Cappuccino, Dirty Chai, and Mocha, were nice tasting products, but the selection of flavors seemed to leave some gaps in terms of what one might expect from a line of RTD coffees.
These new SKUs fill in a critical void in Vanilla -- and we think they’ve done a very nice job working with a unique flavor profile. It's rich but smooth with just the right amount of coffee, vanilla, sweetness (from maple syrup, which adds its own flavor notes), and butter.
We’d say the same for Extra Bold, which has a hint of cocoa but is otherwise very coffee forward and doesn’t contain any added sweetener. It also has increased caffeine (160mg), although we think they should probably call that out on the front panel. Like the Vanilla, the added butter, whey protein, and MCT oil add some flavor and richness, but it’s very much kept in balance with the rest of the formulation.
Finally, there’s the Golden Milk Matcha, which is the most unique offering of the Picnik lineup. This product is vegan, so you won’t find butter or whey protein contained in it. Instead, they’ve used coconut cream in its place, effectively doubling down on MCT oil. While it’s possibly the best tasting flavor in their line, it contains more sugar and less protein than the other SKUs.
Visually, these three flavors add some nice vibrant colors to the lineup, particularly with the green and purple labels. However, we’re not so sure that purple is the best color for a vanilla latte -- it certainly isn’t a color associated with coffee, vanilla, or any of the other ingredients, so it won’t help whet the palate. But using green for matcha is definitely spot on, while the blue and black colors used for Extra Bold will certainly work.
Beyond that, we think that the addition of a non-coffee flavor raises a new concern about the brand and the label used to describe it. It’s no longer fair to refer to this brand as “Picnik coffee” -- so what does one call it? We’d love to see Picnik tackle this head on with a clear tagline that helps the consumer quickly understand what the brand is all about.
Putting this aside, these three new SKUs are excellent additions to the lineup. Aside from each of the three being very tasty and sharp-looking, we think that the depth that they add to the overall lineup will be beneficial to the brand as a whole.