Have Blue Bottle Sold Out

The famous Californian coffee shop has sold a majority share to Nestlé.

- 31 January 2018

I first came across Blue Bottle coffee on a work trip to San Francisco as they had a shop a few blocks down from the office. My American colleague telling me this was America's equivalent in gourmet coffee to London's Monmouth. I would always bring some beans back with me on subsequent trips, and most recently would go to their shop overlooking Bryant Park in New York City as again, this was very close to the office. It was then quite sad to read the announcement that global consumer brand Nestlé was acquiring a majority share (68%) in the Blue Bottle Coffee.

From Gourmet Coffee to Mega Corp

I have two main issues with this. The first being that it's always a shame to see a good independent brand get swallowed up by a gigantic mega corporation. You instantly fear that, despite what's written in the press release, the product and service you know and love will change for the worse. If not in months, a few years down the line. Nestlé is the worlds biggest produce of packaged food, and no doubt they hold that position through stringent efficiency and operations. Good luck to them, but those looking to increase maximum margins, often do so at the expense of community values.

Controversial Nestlé

My second issue is with the Nestlé business itself. They have a somewhat controversial history with their issues on selling baby milk being well documented . Controversy is not just in the past however, with reports of the company making millions from water that it's extracting from Michigan for next to nothing.

So all in all, I just don't like the brand. Don't forget these guys also own the Nespresso brand, producing millions of coffee capsules that are an environmental disaster as they can't be properly recycled. Inventor of the Keurig K-Cups pod, John Sylvan, even regrets inventing them. It was also awful to see a Nespresso shop open up on Broadwick Street in Soho. It epitomises the 'smartening' up of Soho that the area just doesn't need.

I do wish Blue Bottle well, but personally I will find it hard to continue to purchase their products under the umbrella of a global company like Nestlé

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