Gevalia’s Johan Courts US Coffee Drinkers in Ongoing Taste Test Battle

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Continuing its full-on assault to gain share in the US retail market, Kraft Foods’ Gevalia coffee is counting on spokesman “Johan” to open the java-gates as the brand tries its best to convince consumers to pick up its coffee over Starbucks.

The brand has launched a new web series, “Cup of Knowledge,” as another outlet to help the brand market the results of an independent taste test commissioned by the brand, which reportedly showed that 59.7 percent of coffee drinkers preferred the taste of Gevalia’s House Blend over Starbucks Breakfast Blend. This isn’t the first time the brands have battled on the taste test front.

Back in February, the U.S. National Advertising Division ordered Kraft Foods to discontinue its marketing claims that Gevalia tastes like Starbucks, with marketing copy like, “New! If you like Starbucks Breakfast Blend, try this!”[more]

Previously only available via online order in the US, the Swedish brand was bought in 1971 by Kraft Foods’ predecessor, General Foods. Gevalia began offering its 10 varieties to US grocery stores nationwide in 2011. Since, the brand has attempted promotional efforts including a pop-up shop in Times Square and single-serving sampe giveaways. Its new Swedish spokesman Johan even hosted his own press conference in April to tout the results of the taste test. 

Along with the web series, the brand is also currently promoting a gamp app on its Facebook page, “Prefer a Friend,” in which those who ‘like’ the brand can play for a free one-pot sample. Gevalia is pulling out all the stops and for good reason; the industry is seeing a steady decline in the price of green coffee, leading the brand to announce that it would lower the suggested retail price of its bagged coffee by 6 percent, following a 10 percent drop last year. 

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