The coffee business is a fairly saturated market.
You have your major chains like Starbucks as well as local shops and retailers in nearly every town in America. So there’s not a whole lot of room for newcomers in the industry.
That means that those who are just now trying to break into the coffee business have to come up with something a bit different.
That is what drove Eric Golman to start experimenting with some non-traditional ingredients. During his sophomore year of college, while also working as an intern in Washington D.C., he started mixing his coffee with different teas and superfoods, hoping that he could find a tastier and potentially healthier alternative to traditional coffee.
It was a blend of coffee, matcha green tea, and raw chocolate cacao that became his favorite. He loved it so much that he introduced some friends to his creation. And together, they created Javazen.
Aaron Wallach, chief executive and co-founder at Javazen, told the Washington Post:
“There aren’t many other companies blending coffee and tea. We differentiate ourselves with the addition of the superfoods. Our blends truly taste like a new combination. Consumers really enjoy it – it’s a different take on what a coffee can be.”
Even though Golman’s idea of mixing coffee with teas and superfoods started out just for personal use, it was essential to forming a viable business. In some industries, choosing a niche is simply helpful for setting a business apart. But in more saturated industries, it is paramount.
That’s not to say that creating a whole new product category is without its challenges.
When customers aren’t familiar with a product, they can’t truly know if they want or need it. That means that Javazen is challenged with getting its products into the hands of consumers in a cost-effective way. Golman told the Washington Post:
“Our challenge now is really getting our brand out there. We’ve created a new category within coffees and teas, and people don’t understand our product until they actually try it.”
For now, the company is working on getting its products in front of influential people within the food and health industries. It is also working with stores, farmers’ markets and events coordinators to get its blends in front of the right consumers. And if those methods are successful, the unique product could just be the start of a whole new industry.