Starbucks, Shmarbucks: Folgers is Still the Best-Selling Coffee Brand in US Supermarkets


Sure, Folgers Coffee still sponsors the Today Show shout-outs by Willard Scott for American centenarians—by the way, has he turned 100 yet?—but it’s also the brand that came up with a young, folksy new take on its venerable musical jingle, performed by a threesome of Millennials. 

So maybe it’s no surprise after all that Folgers still manages to outsell every other coffee brand in US supermarkets. Volume coffee sales for parent company J.M. Smucker, which bought Folgers from P&G in 2008, increased by 4 percent last quarter, Bloomberg Businessweek reported, though noted that Smucker’s US coffee revenues fell by 1 percent on declining prices.

In any event, java snobs who may have written off Folgers long ago in favor of Starbucks a la carte or Green Mountain in a pod may have to smell the coffee differently. Smucker’s packaged Dunkin’ Donuts coffee also contributed to the volume-sales gain.[more]

There are other evidences that Folger’s has some staying power. It was the No. 1 CPG coffee brand of the year in the 2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend rankings, followed by Green Mountain and Seattle’s Best. Dunkin’ Donuts was No. 4.

In a tough retailing environment and facing all manner of new QSR coffee gambits, Folgers has been able to hang on in part because of savvy marketing, Smucker asserted. Surely the brand is getting a lot more focused attention by its new owner than it did for many years by behemoth P&G with its stable of $1 billion brands and, for most of the years before it shed Folger’s, a declining emphasis on its food and beverage products.

The jingle contest—which ended with the trio singing that Folger’s has an aroma that “fills the room and inspires life”—was a big part of that. “This very successful event continues to utilize digital platforms to expand the reach of the Folgers brand among Millennial consumers,” Smucker Chief Operating Officer Vincent Byrd told Bloomberg Businessweek.


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