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Pop-up coffee shop tricked hipsters into loving grocery store beans

It’s a formula that works for marketing in general; present your product in an appealing, trendy or familiar way, and the consumer will (more likely) believe that it is higher quality. And this grocery store played the ultimate prank.

secret coffee shop freelance

Hipster quality

If you’re frequenting a coffee shop that embraces or contains any of the following: industrial light fixtures, a variety of succulents, reclaimed wood, an overpriced espresso machine, surly baristas and/or fashionably scruffy patrons, you’re going to assume that they serve premium coffee, worth the $4-$5 you’re forking over for your latte. Right?!

It’s a formula that works for marketing in general; present your product in an appealing, trendy or familiar way, and the consumer will (more likely) believe that it is higher quality.


The ultimate punk move

One Norwegian grocery store, Coop, put this formula to the test. They hired the agency We Are Live to create a “secret” pop-up coffee shop. The agency designed the shop with hipsters in mind; the decor, marketing campaign, equipment, and layout all screamed “cool” and “exclusive.” The only distinguishing factor? Instead of serving a specialty coffee brand, they secretly served the grocery-store’s beans.

For a month, they opened up shop and received over 4,000 customers. 67% of people really liked the coffee, 32% found it to be good, and only 1% did not care for it.

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The cool factor

After the 30 days, they revealed that the secret coffee shop actually used Coop brand coffee beans. The press and local patrons were shocked; they assumed, based on the shop’s atmosphere and presentation, that the beans were of the specialty variety.

The grocery store was successful in not only pulling off an A+ prank, but in bringing attention to their brand of coffee beans. They also reminded us that you don’t need the “cool factor” to enjoy a good cup of coffee. However, if you’re trying to sell that coffee (or anything else for that matter), it certainly doesn’t hurt.


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Written By

Amy Orazio received her MFA in Creative Writing at Otis College of Art and Design, in Los Angeles. She lives in Portland now, where she is enjoying the cross section of finishing her poetry manuscript and writing for The American Genius.

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