Seattle’s Best Coffee Relaunches With New Level System

"Seattle’s Best Coffee, part of Starbucks Corporation, today announced a radically simplified packaged coffee line designed to change the conventions of the coffee category. The Seattle’s Best Coffee “Level” System delivers great tasting, premium coffee with an expanded blend offering in conjunction with an innovative and bold new packaging concept. The Level System’s unique array of numbers and vivid colors tell consumers exactly what they want to know: which type of coffee fits their taste profile. Seattle’s Best Coffee is the first brand in the coffee category to offer this unique approach, which will begin hitting grocery and retail store shelves in December 2010."

Designed by Seattle based Creature. Details, images of the full line, and shots of the old packaging below!

For Seattle’s Best Coffee, the Level System represents a move to bring simplicity to the coffee aisle today, while growing the brand’s market share in the premium coffee segment. The packaged coffee market in the U.S. is a $3.6 billion dollar industry according to AC Nielsen*, and research shows shoppers today are sometimes overwhelmed by coffee choices.

“The Level System represents a bold step forward in the packaged coffee category, and Seattle’s Best Coffee is leading the way,” said Michelle Gass, president, Seattle’s Best Coffee. “We’re making it easy for consumers to find the coffee that’s right for them. For premium coffee drinkers, the Level System is a simple way to explore taste profiles, and for mainstream coffee drinkers, it is an invitation to enter the premium coffee segment with confidence and ease.”

With the new Level System, consumers will be able to easily find and choose from a selection of Seattle’s Best Coffee blends that span the entire range of coffee enjoyment, from a mild, light, crisp Level 1 to a bold, dark and intense Level 5. Each Level represents a finely tuned recipe crafted from decades of roasting experience, blended from beans carefully chosen for their nuances and characteristics, and carrying the hallmark taste of Seattle’s Best Coffee: velvety, round and smooth.

In addition to Levels 1 through 5, consumer can choose from a decaffeinated blend, an Organic Fair Trade blend and flavored coffees Cinnamon (“C”) and Hazelnut (“H”). The new Level System lineup will begin replacing the existing Seattle’s Best Coffee products on shelves beginning in December.

According to AC Nielsen data, 85 percent of all coffee sold is listed as medium and light. Before the new Level System, Seattle’s Best Coffee only offered choices in the medium and dark ranges. By expanding its line-up and developing two new coffee blends and roasts, Level 1 and Level 2, Seattle’s Best Coffee is appealing to the growing base of consumers who enjoy a lighter blend but may be looking to trade up into the premium segment.

As part of the Starbucks Corporation, the Seattle’s Best Coffee brand leverages the same supply chain and quality controls as the Starbucks brand. This means working side by side with farmers and cultivating decades-long relationships to ensure quality standards are met around the world. This dedication to responsibly grown, ethically traded coffee ensures access to the premium beans used in the Seattle’s Best Coffee Level System.

“Ultimately, people select coffee based on taste and that can be hard to determine in today’s coffee aisle,” said Andrew Linnemann, director, Green Coffee Quality, Starbucks Corporation. “Seattle’s Best Coffee is known for its smooth taste profile. Each Level has been sourced, blended and roasted with care and precision to meet consumers’ desire to simply enjoy a great tasting cup of coffee.”

The new levels system, color and numerically ordered from light to dark roast.

The old packaging system.