Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Extending the Illy Coffee Brand
I'm a big fan of Illy coffee, the high end line of espresso coffee from Italy. I discovered it at Whole Foods market, and I'm willing to pay a premium for this very good coffee. Now, I read in Fast Company that Illy is coming out with a new product line... canned coffee beverages. The article reviews the new products, and asks the question: "Is it premium enough?" That certainly seems like a relevant question. One has to wonder whether Illy risks damaging their brand with this product line introduction. Will the firm's quality image suffer at all? We certainly have seen this story before with Starbucks' expansion efforts. It will be interesting to watch consumers' reactions to Illy's growth plans. Of course, this product launch also directly threatens Starbucks' own canned coffee business. The battle is on.