COFFEE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDING MAY 24TH

A coffee cup on a table next to a croissant and a newspaper

OK world, what’s in the coffee news this week? Did another coffee company go public with less than impressive results? Did another coffee company get wrapped up in trademark litigation? Did another multinational conglomerate try to disguise PR as charity?

They did? Wow, time really is a circle.

So let’s get going, shall we. To begin: a story in four headlines.

Starbucks rival Luckin Coffee soars in trading debut - via Yahoo Finance

That’s good!

Cramer: Be cautious buying Luckin Coffee's IPO - via Yahoo Finance (again)

That’s bad.

Luckin Coffee Shares Slide After IPO As Analysts Question Profitability Prospects - via Forbes

Uh oh.

Luckin Coffee Burns Investors With 39% Plunge - via Yahoo Finance (again!)

Yikes! Well then.

Cat & Cloud Is Being Sued By Caterpillar Inc. - via Sprudge

Because when you think of heavy machinery, you think of coffee.

Caterpillar, the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturer, is suing the Santa Cruz, CA, based coffee company Cat & Cloud for trademark infringement, apparently based around the use of the word “cat”. Caterpillar owns the trademark for “CAT”, which is what they use on all the apparel they sell; Cat & Cloud own the trademark for, well, “Cat & Cloud”.

The Sprudge story cites Cat & Cloud’s own podcast, in which they lay out the charges against them and the steps they’ve taken to fight back. There’s not a lot of other reporting on the subject, but there is this rather interesting Reddit thread (I know, I know) which discusses the ins and outs a little more in-depth and comes to some interesting conclusions—that it’s probably apparel-related, that it’s pretty standard practice in the trademark world to show that you’re protecting your mark, and then a bunch of jokes about confusing the two brands.

Read the full story here.

Nespresso Launches ‘Reviving Origins’ Program with $9.8 Million Pledge - via Daily Coffee News

Yes, it’s good that Nestlé are investing in coffee-producing countries. Yes it’s good that the company is giving back and trying to help people. That’s a given.

BUT.

Coffee cherries on the branch

Why is George Clooney involved? Nestlé is the largest food company in the world, with revenue of $92.6 billion—by comparison, $9.8 million feels like a marketing budget, not an actual meaningful investment in improving people’s lives.

Also the company has, let’s say, an iffy history in the developing world. Just a taste: in 2002, Nestlé demanded Ethiopia pay back $6 million in debt at a time when the country was dealing with a severe famine. Nestlé also has a terrible track record with child labor in its chocolate supply chain. The company’s history with infant formula is well known and, as of 2018, apparently ongoing.

The point is, maybe this enormous multinational conglomerate with a litany of morally dubious controversies in some of the same countries it’s now investing in doesn’t have the best intentions? Maybe the involvement of the the internationally recognizable and beloved actor is something to be slightly wary of?

Read the full story here.

Is coffee good for you?

Well it’ll make you go, whether you like it or not.

Yes, scientists have finally discovered why drinking coffee makes you regular, and it turns out it’s probably pretty much what you expected. This Sprudge article does a good job of summarizing the findings (which are preliminary and have yet to be peer-reviewed): “Coffee helps the muscles in the small and large intestines contract, which helps speed up food’s wait time in the digestive tract.”

Excellent.

Now that that’s settled, we can all move on with our lives, and wonder again why researchers are studying this sort of thing in the first place.

A man on a park bench reading a newspaper