BOCA RATON, FLA. — What’s old is new, especially among millennials who favor products with heritage and authenticity. That’s the consumer insight behind 1850, a new premium coffee brand set to launch from The J.M. Smucker Co. The Orrville, Ohio-based company offered a first look at the platform during a Feb. 21 presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in Boca Raton.
“1850 was inspired by the consumer insight that the authenticity and nearly 170 years of heritage of the Folgers brand, which originated in San Francisco during the Gold Rush, resonates with both our core consumers and millennials,” said Mark T. Smucker, president and chief executive officer. “Millennials in particular are interested in brands that can tell these kinds of authentic stories. In addition, millennials generally prefer stronger, bolder coffees. Our focus with 1850, therefore, has been to deliver a bold but smooth experience that millennials and other segments of our core consumer can relate to.”
Bagged and K-Cup varieties will begin shipping in April, and three ready-to-drink varieties will launch this summer, representing the company’s first significant entry into the bottled coffee segment, Mr. Smucker said. Additionally, 1850 will be offered later in away-from-home channels. The company is planning a comprehensive marketing campaign to drive awareness and trial.
Retailer reaction and acceptance to the 1850 platform has been “outstanding,” Mr. Smucker said.
“The 1850 taste profile has tested incredibly well with consumers,” Mr. Smucker said. “In fact, we conducted our largest-ever in-home competitive coffee study, and 1850 received the top ranking.
“The other aspects of 1850 that tested successfully is the meticulously designed packaging. Every aspect of 1850 packaging has been carefully crafted to deliver stopping power in the coffee aisle, from the brand imagery inspired by some of Folgers’ early packaging to the wax seal and even to the names of some of the blends. 1850 will initially be available in four blends: Lantern Glow, Pioneer, Trailblazer and Black Gold.”
A new snacking platform debuting under the Jif banner is Jif Powerups, featuring wholesome, peanut-based snacks for children. The products will debut in May featuring five granola bars and three varieties of creamy clusters, Mr. Smucker said.
“We couldn’t be more excited about these two new platforms,” he said. “Innovation is critical to our growth strategy, and it must encompass larger product platforms that can drive growth for years to come.”
The company has accelerated its speed to market in recent years to quickly meet consumers’ evolving needs, he said.
“Our teams are tasked with developing a platform approach to innovation, that is, developing new brands or brand extensions that are the foundation for repeated innovations in both our current and new categories,” Mr. Smucker said. “This will result in a continuous pipeline of new products, delivering incremental top line growth well into the future.”