Dunkin’ and Harpoon Brewery team up for a Guilty Pleasure coffee pale ale

Dunkin’ and Harpoon Brewery team up for a Guilty Pleasure coffee pale ale

With spring in the air across more of the US, it will soon be time for outdoor yard work and lounging by the pool, river, lake or ocean. In our view here at Tematica, nothing goes better with those activities than a cold one, and yes we are talking about beer. For those both under and over the legal drinking age, that adult beverage and several others fall under our Guilty Pleasure investing theme.

We’ve talked before about the rise of craft and other designer beers, and once again Dunkin’ and Harpoon Brewery are at it again. If you’re a stout beer fan like Tematica’s Chief Economist Lenore Hawkins, you may want to give a try to their latest coffee infused beer. It’s not exactly a new combination, but one that is becoming increasingly popular although it seems more like a Fall beverage than a summer one in our view.

From the team Tematica perspective, it’s two aspects of our Guilty Pleasure theme coming together… not too unlike chocolate and peanut butter. Now to see what it tastes like. Cheers!

With the return to high temperatures this spring, people may be clamoring for a cool beverage. A sweet iced coffee or a chilled beer might help to satisfy one’s yearning to cool down on a warm spring day.

Luckily, for fans of both iced coffee and beer, Dunkin’ is not making you decide between the two.

The quick service restaurant is teaming up with Harpoon Brewery again this year to serve up the Harpoon Dunkin’ Summer Coffee Pale Ale, a coffee-inspired beer. The beverage has 5% ABV and combines the flavors of Dunkin’s Original Blend with a bright pale ale.

This marks the second collaboration between Dunkin’ and the Boston-based Harpoon. In October of last year, the two combined to release Harpoon Dunkin’ Coffee Porter.

The companies’ newest beverage will be available from now until the end of the summer.

Source: Dunkin’ and Harpoon Brewery team up on second beer, a coffee pale ale

Nestlé takes its coffee upscale with Blue Bottle Coffee 

Nestlé takes its coffee upscale with Blue Bottle Coffee 

Over the last several quarters, we’ve witnessed larger breweries scoop up smaller, craft brewers with the goal of not only buying market share but also tapping into products that consumers are favoring. We are starting to see that happen in Big Food with Danone acquiring White Wave and now Nestle taking an interest in premium coffee company Blue Bottle Coffee. Several of team Tematica have sampled Blue Bottle’s hot and cold coffees, and in our view, they are a clear-cut example of an Affordable Luxury. Just so we’re all on the same page, we define an Affordable Luxury as a premium product or service that makes consumers feel like they are splurging, but it’s priced so that splurge can be fit into their weekly budget. A slice of heaven that doesn’t break the bank.

There’s a very big difference between a cup of lukewarm Nescafé instant coffee and a cup of freshly roasted pour-over coffee, yet the same parent company will be able to bring give you both. Nestlé has reportedly paid around $500 million for 68% of the Brooklyn-based roastery Blue Bottle.

Acquiring millennials, er, coffee brandsNestlé will have the option to acquire the remaining 32% of the company if Blue Bottle reaches certain unspecified goals, and says that the brand will be allowed to function independently. The company’s founder, a former professional clarinet player who turned his coffee-roasting hobby into a worldwide business, will stay on, as will the current CEO.

In an interview with the Financial Times, which broke the story, Nestlé marketing director Patrice Bula was pretty honest about why it acquired the company: It wants expertise in what’s currently considered premium coffee, and it wants to be part of a market that’s actually growing among millennial customers.

Source: Nestlé Pays $500 Million For 68% Of Blue Bottle Coffee – Consumerist

When $4 coffee is no longer enough, Starbucks brings out the Reserve

When $4 coffee is no longer enough, Starbucks brings out the Reserve

People used to think we were crazy for paying $3-$4 for a cup of Starbucks coffee, but it soon became what we call an Affordable Luxury/Guilty Pleasure. Now in order to perk up growth and recapture some of the company’s early magic it intends to roll out both a Reserve line and Reserve coffee bars. Hopefully, the fancy brewing techniques and upscale environment soften the blow of what is likely to be high-end coffee prices. If it’s more bitter tasting coffee (you know what we’re talking about — coffee, not the espresso based drinks), we’ll continue to go to Pete’s Coffee & Tea and Blue Bottle when we’re in Manhattan


Starbucks, which was instrumental in shifting U.S. consumers to higher-quality coffee and espresso-based drinks, will have Reserve coffee “bars” in up to 1,000 Starbucks cafes by the end of 2017 in a bid to one day dominate the so-called “third wave” coffee movement.

Over time, Starbucks expects to open as many as 1,000 cafes that exclusively sell Reserve coffees, Schultz said. Starbucks opened its first Reserve coffee roastery and tasting room in Seattle in late 2014. It roasts limited-supply Reserve coffees that sell for up to $50 per 8-ounce package. Roastery baristas prepare coffee using a variety of uncommon methods, such as siphon brewing, which was popularized by Blue Bottle and other super-premium cafe operators.

Source: Starbucks plans new ‘Reserve’ targets in super-premium battle | Reuters