Review: Zingerman’s Cold Brew Needs a Point of Difference

Posted: Jun 24, 2016 at 2:04 PM (Last Updated: Jun 27, 2016 at 3:21 PM)

Covers Products: Cold Brew Coffee

We’ve sampled a lot of different cold-brew coffee in the past couple of years -- too many to probably even count. And as we continue to sample new unflavored & unsweetened cold-brew coffee entrants, the liquid becomes something that’s harder and harder to remember, as they all deliver something that’s pretty similar. Yes, some are better than others, but the range from the top to the bottom is relatively narrow compared with other beverage categories.

That’s exactly how we feel about what we found inside the bottle of Zingerman’s Cold Brew. It’s fine, but it’s nothing special. And on the narrow spectrum of cold-brew coffee flavors, this one, which has a somewhat bitter finish, unfortunately falls toward the bottom end.

Visually, we can’t say it’s much better. The 10 oz. glass bottle is fully wrapped by a label that completely obscures the liquid. While that’s okay for a can, we think that it’s less visually appealing than the other products that it will compete with. At this relatively late stage in the cold-brew game, they are going to need to do more to lure in consumers. And lure them back -- which is why they should think about improving the liquid as well.

Lastly, they might want to think about expanding their offerings. Black cold-brew isn’t exactly hard to come by at this point, so what they’ve created risks competing in a commodity category.

All in all, if Zingerman’s is looking to succeed, it’s going to take some meaningful improvements in both the liquid, packaging, and lineup.

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