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Lost Towers, Reflected in a Coffee Can
The New York Times ^ | June 19, 2004 | JAMES BARRON

Posted on 06/19/2004 6:22:23 AM PDT by sarcasm

A familiar saw-toothed view of the New York skyline on a product with deep New York roots has quietly been altered. How it came to be changed is a story of corporate strategizing - and of deciding to ease some customers' painful memories of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Half-asleep coffee drinkers may not pay much attention to what is on the coffee can, but in redesigning its product, Chock full o'Nuts removed the World Trade Center.

For years, the twin towers had stood against a taxi-yellow sky on the Chock full o'Nuts label, as did the Empire State Building and the Citicorp Center. But about a year ago, Chock full o'Nuts decided it was time to do something to set itself apart from brands like Maxwell House and Folgers.

So it added a new flavor - "100 percent Arabica New York roast" - and began looking into a makeover. "The existing packaging was a bit antiquated," said Angie Hancock, a brand manager for Chock full o'Nuts, a unit of the Sara Lee Corporation. "It definitely resonated with an older consumer but was not doing enough to attract younger consumers."

And, she said, "there was the issue with the twin towers."

They were at the far right of the skyline on the old label. Ms. Hancock said that in the days after Sept. 11, "we received calls about whether we're going to change the packaging immediately or not."

By last year, when the company hired market researchers to question consumers about possible new labels, the trade center was "a very polarizing issue," she said.

"It was split 50-50 between people wanting to see it there, and then people wanting to not see it there," she said. "It would either remind them of what it looked like, a sense of nostalgia, or it would be a reminder of a tragedy. We decided it was too divisive." The new yellow-on-yellow skyline replaced a black landscape and taxi-yellow background, and the buildings are more recognizable than on the old can. The triangle top of the Citicorp Center looks more like itself than the oddly lopped-off old shape, for example.

Chock full o'Nuts began phasing in the new design at the beginning of this year. Ms. Hancock said the last of the old-label cans were vacuum-packed in March. The last of those cans are disappearing from supermarket shelves, although some can still be found around New York City. "We can't control what stock a retailer may have in the warehouse," Ms. Hancock said. "It takes a certain amount of time for that inventory to sell through."

TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: New York
KEYWORDS: coffee; skyline

1 posted on 06/19/2004 6:22:24 AM PDT by sarcasm
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To: sarcasm
That's an interesting story. Wonder if that will become a nostalgic collectors item now?
2 posted on 06/19/2004 6:28:31 AM PDT by CourtneyLeigh (Why can't all of America be Commonwealth?)
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To: CourtneyLeigh

"Wonder if that will become a nostalgic collectors item now?"

Start searching your kitchen cupboards, coffee can holders!

Chock-full-of-nuts is a great coffee, and always very New York in its branding. Both those cans scream out "Checker Cab" {sigh} those are all gone too now.

We drink Eight O'Clock 100% Columbian. It is the very best! But, you still gotta buy a Chock-full-of-nuts once in a while, in order to get those perfect little scoops.

3 posted on 06/19/2004 6:38:09 AM PDT by jocon307 (help....I lost my tagline! wait I found it: Immigration Moratorium NOW!)
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To: sarcasm

Notice how Arabica replaces the World Trade Center. Truth is stranger than fiction!!!!!

4 posted on 06/19/2004 7:15:37 AM PDT by Coroner
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To: sarcasm
100 percent Arabica New York roast

Is that the new term for the destruction of the World Trade Center?

I say this in a T-Mobile Starbucks a few blocks from the WTC. I took a red-eye from Phoenix to New York last night, on my way to Finland, of all places. In the middle of the short night on the plane, I awoke to realize that I had to see Ground Zero during my few hours in New York.

My whole family stayed at the Millenium Hilton next to the WTC, Labor Day weekend of 2000, almost exactly one year before 9/11. Of course we went up to the top of the towers.

5 posted on 06/19/2004 7:49:22 AM PDT by AZLiberty (Government isn't the solution to our problem. It is the problem.)
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To: AZLiberty
I saw. I cried.

I did some consulting for a dot-com company on Wall Street back in 2000. I usually stayed uptown, so every day I'd take the subway to the WTC, and then walk past Trinity Church -- dodging the rats -- over to Wall Street. This is my first time back since then.

The Millenium Hilton looks as good as new, and most things around Ground Zero have been restored, but the blank spot -- with a viewing area -- is huge. Oddly, almost my first thought was that the viewing area was where the Krispy Kreme franchise used to be. I never heard mention of Krispy Kreme in all the news about the WTC, but it's definitely not there.

6 posted on 06/19/2004 8:57:40 AM PDT by AZLiberty (Government isn't the solution to our problem. It is the problem.)
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To: AZLiberty

I met my wife there. We both worked in the WTC for 7 years.

7 posted on 06/19/2004 10:17:43 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty
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