Client Challenge

The K-Cup Goliath.

In-room hotel coffee is broken. Not only do guests expect better-tasting coffee than single-serve K-Cups can produce, but the ubiquitous, single-serve, plastic capsules have become an environmental disaster for the planet. In fact, several billions of single-serve, plastic coffee pods are thrown away every year, expanding our landfills with plastic that won’t decompose for centuries (if at all).

SolaBev’s single-serve coffee system is a revolutionary, sustainable, in-room coffee program for the hospitality industry. With single-serve pods made from upcycled coffee grounds, SolaBev capsules decompose and disintegrate in weeks—not centuries—and leave nothing behind but organic material. SolaBev also features a proprietary brewer and pod design, which not only makes for a superior cup of coffee but also disincentivizes hotel guests from taking the coffee pods home with them to use in their own machines. SolaBev caps only work in SolaBev machines. Finally, because SolaBev is not mass produced, the company can partner with local roasters to fill its compostable pods, so that hoteliers can provide local, high-quality coffee for a more unique guest experience.

With all these benefits, what could possibly stop SolaBev from dominating the space? A Goliath of an industry leader: the all mighty K-Cup.


Waste Nothing. Taste Everything.

In a monopolistic industry like single-serve coffee, there is one Goliath and a handful of would-be Davids. These upstart companies have tried to compete with K-Cup over the years through customization, quality and pricing—but because all of them use either plastic or “compostable plastic” (that is, plastic that still needs to be specially sorted and processed at a composting facility), the environmental concerns still remain. SolaBev, on the other hand, is also taking on K-Cup through quality and customization—but the company’s secret weapon is its coffee grounds-produced capsules. They could be the stone and sling that finally take down Goliath.

To make a splash with hoteliers, SolaBev enlisted COHN to build a sales campaign that quickly communicated the unique selling propositions for SolaBev—starting with messaging, a landing page, a sales video and an email series.

The “full circle” story of SolaBev’s capsules—coffee grown from the soil that turns into coffee pods that turn back into soil—is a compelling narrative that COHN wanted to tap into for messaging. In a short headline, we wanted to highlight the sustainability story, while also mentioning SolaBev’s quality taste and the advantage of a proprietary system that disincentivizes guests from stealing coffee pods. The headline “WASTE NOTHING. TASTE EVERYTHING.” became the central idea to build a campaign around.

Client Results

Telling the SolaBev Story.

COHN’s landing page is clean, sophisticated and to the point, with an engaging video that can be used as a sales tool for SolaBev reps. We also updated their existing sales decks with the campaign messaging and designed an in-room card that helps the guest better understand why the coffee pods are so special. SolaBev compostable pods are still new, so educating guests on how and why their hotel chose SolaBev over K-Cup is crucial. COHN is currently producing a time-lapse video that shows SolaBev pods decomposing in weeks—not centuries—to drive that message home for guests. It remains to be seen if David will take down Goliath this time—but we’ve armed SolaBev with a killer story that may topple the K-Cup once and for all.


Brand Strategy
Creative Design