As most people not living under a rock (or a nuclear bunker refurb) are aware, the current "lockdown" is impacting supplies of coffee in some areas. Not from the wholesale green beans supply to roasters at this point, but delivery to your usual grocery shelf or the retail coffee store. I have seen empty shelves in the coffee aisle with the exception of some exotic Folgers blends. Back away folks.

Which naturally has led to a growth or increased marketing push into online sales of coffee. But with that, sometimes problems can arise.

If you have watched YouTube to any degree I am sure you have seen suggested videos for how drop-shipping can be a lucrative side hustle. The concept being you open up a Shopify or Etsy store front and advertise product which you don't actually need to keep in stock because when you get an order and get paid for it, essentially you get Amazon or Alibaba or similar to ship it to your customer as if it came from you. Win win right ? Well maybe if it's a plastic something I guess it matters little.

But some folks are starting to do this with coffee. In the trade it's been around for a while as "white label" just like a grocery store own brand. Someone else makes it and slaps your label on it. Again nothing inherently wrong with that, as long as you're being transparent to the customer in my opinion.

I'm a little concerned that in order to differentiate yourself in the marketplace it is tempting to fluff the story of the coffee being sold - making it seem like it is locally produced by the person selling it, or has fair trade or organic credentials which are unknown or not there.

So by all means experiment with other sources of coffee, there's a big diversity to try but maybe ask yourself the question 

"Do you even roast bro ? "

Enjoy your coffee, however you take it.

Written by Stuart McKnight

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