Suntory — "Caffeine Shiki Coffee"

by David Cady

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"The quality and taste of canned coffee are getting better, which ironically makes the brands seem even more similar to most people. That is why it is important for beverage companies to mount effective sales campaigns that can differentiate one brand from another."From The Nikkei Weekly article "Canned Coffee Market Heating Up"

The marketing gurus at Suntory no doubt had differentiation in mind when they came up with Caffeine Shiki. I confess that their tactics worked on this consumer, who has grown weary of the same old offerings from the same old companies. The can's knockout combo of aesthetics and novelty had me digging in my pocket for 120 yen faster than you can say "a river of life."


First to grab my attention was the logo: a cartoon face of a man showing what could be extreme concentration or anger, his eyes the bulging orbs of an evil hypnotist. Next to induce the purchase reflex was the word "caffeine," which appears in three places on the front and five on the back — the hypnotist is telling me something, and I like his message. Written prominently on the front label is "160mg of caffeine," which is 30% more than what is contained in other Suntory coffees. Meet the Jolt Cola of the canned coffee world. It describes itself as having a "bitter and dry coffee taste," which I agree with. It is strong and charcoaly — nearly too much so — but a trace of sugar and cream save the day, making this one of my favorite canned coffees yet.

Discuss with other coffee lovers. (5)

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