Taster’s Choice No Longer a Top Choice

We still get confused by the nomenclature of Nescafe Taster’s Choice. There are really two products, Nescafe and Taster’s Choice and they should only be next to each other in the aisle, not in the same jar. Today, there is Nescafe Taster’s Choice, and it doesn’t seem right.

Nescafe pleases the “whole wide world” while Taster’s Choice just pleases American 1970s parents tired of percolators, or that’s what I believed. (Note the above Taster’s Choice commercial from KBIM, a CBS affiliate. It shows up just after the CBS movie of the week intro.) While Taster’s Choice was made by Nescafe, it wasn’t seen as Nescafe.

In the 1990s, the brand went soap opera, with a romantic couple talking all sorts of nonsense while drinking Taster’s Choice. The commercials were popular but I am not sure what the attention did to the brand. In the brand’s heyday, the coffee was a premium product, and sold only on the merits of taste. Interesting that Starbucks is trying the same thing, though people find it declasse.

This issue has also be a problem with Sanka, a brand that was originally the way that people asked for decaf coffee. Today, the brand, made by Kraft, is called Sanka Maxwell House, and I don’t get it.

Please stop all this nonsense. There are four different brands of instant coffee, not two.

  • Taster’s Choice
  • Nescafe
  • Sanka
  • Maxwell House


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website BrandlandUSA.com has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.


  1. The trick to making Taster’s Choice ‘taste right’ is the temperature of the water. If it’s not hot enough it, doesn’t taste right! We have a Keurig coffee and that’s what we use. It makes Perfect!

  2. I used to love original Taster’s Choice, and it was the only instant brand I’d buy. However, they changed the recipe in the last few years, and it no longer has that “fresh-brewed” taste. So now, I just buy whole beans and forget it. I’ll probably never understand why companies mess with a great product, only to ruin it.

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