The Rise and Fall of Iconic 70s Coffee Brands

Coffee brands of the 70s were iconic in shaping the way we think about and consume coffee today. These brands were at the forefront of the 1970s coffee culture, with their unique blends, marketing campaigns, and iconic packaging. From the rise of brands like Folgers and Maxwell House to the fall of others like MJB and Chase & Sanborn, the 70s were a pivotal time for the coffee industry. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the rise and fall of these iconic 70s coffee brands, exploring what made them so popular and why some of them eventually faded into obscurity.

Maxwell House: The Rise of a Coffee Icon

One of the most iconic coffee brands of the 70s was Maxwell House. Founded in 1892, Maxwell House quickly became a household name thanks to its rich and smooth blend of coffee. In the 70s, Maxwell House capitalized on its popularity by launching a series of successful marketing campaigns, including the famous “Good to the Last Drop” slogan. This catchphrase, coupled with the brand’s consistent quality, helped Maxwell House solidify its place as one of the top coffee brands of the 70s.

In addition to its marketing efforts, Maxwell House also expanded its product line during the 70s, introducing new flavors and blends to cater to a wider audience. The brand’s signature ground coffee and instant coffee products were a staple in many homes, and its presence in grocery stores and supermarkets across the country further solidified its reputation as a top coffee brand. However, as the 70s drew to a close, Maxwell House faced new challenges that would ultimately lead to its decline in the following decades.

Maxwell House: The Fall and Revival

Despite its success in the 70s, Maxwell House began to face increased competition from other coffee brands. As new players entered the market with innovative products and marketing strategies, Maxwell House struggled to maintain its dominance. The brand’s inability to adapt to changing consumer preferences and the rise of specialty coffee shops led to a decline in sales and market share.

In response to these challenges, Maxwell House underwent a series of rebranding efforts in the 80s and 90s in an attempt to regain its former glory. The brand introduced new packaging, updated its marketing campaigns, and expanded its product line to include flavored coffees and single-serve options. While these efforts helped Maxwell House regain some of its lost momentum, it never fully recaptured the widespread popularity it enjoyed in the 70s.

Dunkin’ Donuts: The Emergence of a Coffee Powerhouse

While Maxwell House and other traditional coffee brands reigned supreme in the 70s, the landscape of the coffee industry was beginning to change. One brand that emerged as a force to be reckoned with during this time was Dunkin’ Donuts. Originally known for its baked goods, Dunkin’ Donuts expanded its offerings in the 70s to include a wide variety of coffee options, from classic black coffee to specialty espresso drinks.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ focus on fast and convenient service, coupled with its delicious and affordable coffee offerings, quickly made it a favorite among coffee lovers across the country. The brand’s expansion into new markets and its strategic partnerships with other businesses helped it solidify its position as a top coffee brand in the 70s. However, as the decade came to a close, Dunkin’ Donuts faced its own set of challenges that would shape its future.

Dunkin’ Donuts: The Changing Tides

As the 70s gave way to the 80s, Dunkin’ Donuts faced increased competition from both traditional coffee brands and new players in the industry. The brand’s reliance on fast and convenient service was no longer enough to stand out in a crowded market, and it struggled to maintain its market share. In response, Dunkin’ Donuts began to experiment with new marketing strategies and product offerings in an attempt to regain its former dominance.

One of the most significant changes came in the form of the brand’s coffee lineup. Dunkin’ Donuts introduced new blends and flavors to appeal to a wider audience, including flavored coffees and specialty drinks. Additionally, the brand sought to differentiate itself by focusing on the quality and sourcing of its coffee beans, a trend that would become increasingly important in the years to come. While these efforts helped Dunkin’ Donuts stay afloat, the brand continued to face challenges in the decades that followed.

Sanka: The Pioneering Decaf Coffee Brand

In the 70s, many coffee drinkers began to prioritize health and wellness, leading to the rise in popularity of decaffeinated coffee. One brand that capitalized on this growing trend was Sanka, which became known as the pioneering decaf coffee brand. Sanka’s decaffeinated coffee was a hit among health-conscious consumers, and its convenient instant coffee options made it a staple in many households.

Sanka’s commitment to providing a high-quality decaf coffee option helped it carve out a niche in the market, and the brand quickly became synonymous with decaffeinated coffee in the 70s. However, as the 70s came to a close, Sanka faced new challenges that would test its position as a top decaf coffee brand.

Sanka: The Decline and Reinvention

As the 80s approached, Sanka found itself facing increased competition from other decaf coffee brands as well as traditional coffee companies that were expanding their decaf offerings. Additionally, changing consumer preferences and the rise of specialty coffee shops posed a threat to Sanka’s market share. In response, the brand underwent a series of changes to modernize its image and appeal to a new generation of coffee drinkers.

Sanka’s rebranding efforts focused on highlighting the brand’s commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing, as well as its dedication to providing high-quality decaf coffee options. The brand also introduced new packaging and marketing campaigns to appeal to a younger audience. While these efforts helped Sanka stay relevant in the evolving coffee market, it never fully recaptured its former prominence.

The Fall of MJB: A 70s Coffee Brand Fades Away

MJB was a popular coffee brand in the 70s, known for its wide variety of coffee products and its consistent quality. However, as the decade came to a close, MJB began to face increased competition from other coffee brands, as well as changing consumer preferences. The brand’s traditional marketing campaigns and lack of innovation led to a decline in sales and market share, ultimately leading to its fall in the 80s.


Coffee brands of the 70s played a crucial role in shaping the coffee industry as we know it today. From the rise of iconic brands like Maxwell House and Dunkin’ Donuts to the fall of others like MJB and Sanka, the 70s were a time of change and innovation in the coffee world. While some brands were able to adapt to new trends and remain relevant, others struggled to keep up with the evolving market. Despite their eventual decline, the legacy of these iconic 70s coffee brands lives on, shaping the way we think about and enjoy coffee today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *