Coffee Mate Rebrand: A Modern Makeover for a Timeless Favourite!



Read Time

4 min


28 March, 2024

Any coffee lover that can’t have dairy has probably either heard of or tried Coffee Mate.

Even if you can have diary, it can be quite a nice addition to your hot (or cold) beverage and it even makes a nice topping on cakes.

As a substitute to using milk or cream, this product emulates the same consistency and comes in a variety of forms such as power, liquid, and single-serve packets.

But that’s not all. It also offers consumers a wide variety of delicious flavours meaning you can add some sweetness to your regular brew whether you’re fancying hazelnut, vanilla, peppermint, caramel, coconut, the list goes on!

Now we’ve covered why you should try Coffee Mate (if you haven’t already) what’s changed in their latest rebrand?

Honouring Brand Heritage

In partnership with global branding agency, Sterling, they’ve created a design that honours the brand heritage whilst bringing it more in line with todays modern consumer. At a quick glance, you might think not much has changed, but the subtle design updates and colours definitely make this a more appealing choice in todays competitive market.

coffee mate bottle before and after on red background
Credit to The Dieline
The brand has been around since 1961 when it was first introduced by the Carnation Company – now a part of Nestlé.

It was developed as a non-dairy creamer alternative to milk or cream for use in coffee and other hot beverages. Since its launch, it has become one of the most popular and widely recognised brands of non-dairy creamer globally.

That said, any brand that has been around since the 60’s is probably overdue a bit of a makeover.

Matters of the Heart

Let’s start with the heart-shaped logo, the most distinctive part of the brand’s visual identity.

Whilst this has remained and rightly so to maintain brand equity, it’s been simplified to make the emblem appear a lot cleaner against the background.

Any unnecessary details have been removed, allowing the heart outline and brand name to take centre stage. The shape of the heart has also been slightly extended as it now reaches over the ‘C’ creating a nice border around the wordmark whilst still giving it enough room to breathe.

You have to look closely, but there’s also a nice creation of an arch with the heart and the top of the ‘C’ where it curls sitting together.

Everything just looks tighter and cleaner, and it feels like there’s more focus.

coffee mate flavours on red background
Credit to The Dieline

Tons of Mates

Moving onto Coffee Mate’s range of flavours, Sterling was tasked with creating a unified visual approach that would cover the range of flavours. With this in mind, they devised a packaging scheme that maintained brand coherence while distinguishing between different product varieties.

This not only demonstrates Coffee Mate’s ability to improve the coffee experience but also emphasises the various flavours available, ensuring consumers could easily navigate the product line.

The cleaner shapes adopted also make the brand more appealing to a younger demographic, known for their preference for subtle branding.

Coffee Mate has demonstrated its ability to grow alongside its loyal customer base while simultaneously attracting new consumers who may not be as familiar with the brand.

Another thing to point out about this rebrand, and again whilst subtle in execution, is still worth highlighting.

Coffee Mate wordmark on caramel bottle
Credit to The Dieline
Each of the letters on the wordmark ‘Coffee Mate’ are custom, and draw inspiration from the products soft, creamy consistency.

If you look back at the old version compared to this updated version, you can see that each of the letters are much less rigid and are a lot more ‘cushioned.’

Again this ties into the soft, creamy, fluffy texture of indulging in a freshly whipped up mug of coffee, creating synergy between the visual identity and the product itself.

These softer, more fluid letters also fit the free-flowing heart shaped outline better and sort of flow alongside it rather than feeling torte and squared-off.

It can be difficult striking the right balance between staying true to your current customers, and evolving with modern trends, but I think Coffee Mate has just about done it.

By not totally overhauling their entire identity and just making tweaks where needed, they’ve created modern packaging design whilst staying true to their roots.

I think I’ll be ordering some myself just to try the different flavours!

Hey I'm Tony, Founder and Director of Canny Creative. I eat, sleep and bleed Canny to be honest. I'm an absolute workaholic (and yes, I know that's not a good thing!).

Read here