Breaking News on Beverage Technology & Markets

News > Manufacturers

Read more breaking news



Coffee that helps you sleep?! 'This brand can explode,' says Counting Sheep Coffee


By Rachel Arthur+

Last updated on 19-Jan-2015 at 16:38 GMT2015-01-19T16:38:13Z

"Coffee to enjoy before sleep...seriously!" proclaims a pack of gourmet roast 40 winks

A Vancouver startup believes it’s on the brink of exploding into mainstream success with its 40 winks coffee – a coffee blended with a herbal sedative, allowing it to be drunk as an evening or bedtime drink. 

The decaffeinated coffee is blended with organic valerian root, keeping the taste of coffee but without the usual effects of caffeinated beverages.   

With a meeting with Walmart this month, Counting Sheep Coffee is gearing up for rapid growth, hoping it can meet demand from coffee-hungry consumers.  

‘I’d love a cup of coffee but…’

Deland Jessop, Adam Cooper and Joseph Fernandes launched the business at Coffee Fest (in the US) in 2013. The novelty of the idea has earned them considerable media attention – featuring on Dragons’ Den in Canada, and with upcoming appearances on Extra TV and The Queen Latifah Show.

Jessop told there is demand for the beverage: the challenge is getting out to retailers.  

“When you really think about it, people have been asking for a product like this for a very long time,” he said. “How many times have you heard someone say "I'd love a cup of coffee but…”

My wife loves coffee, but can't touch even decaf after 3pm otherwise she has difficulty sleeping. She is very sensitive to caffeine, but not an insomniac.

“Our coffee is decaffeinated using the Swiss water process (this removes 99.9% of the caffeine naturally without chemicals) so there is essentially no caffeine in the drink. With the added valerian root, you do feel a relaxed sensation when you are drinking this, similar to a sleepy tea.

“We have had great feedback from customers saying they have no problem at all sleeping or even great sleeps after drinking our coffee.” 

Cracking ‘a great balance’ of coffee and valerian

FDA and Health Canada both allow valerian as a food ingredient to certain levels, and Jessop said the brand keeps well within these.

“Most people can't taste the valerian root as we blend it very well and the naturally bitter taste of the valerian is masked by the coffee,” he said.

“There are some people with sensitive pallets who can detect the taste of the valerian, and most of the people who can taste it still enjoy the coffee. 

“If you put too much valerian in it will impact the taste negatively. We have a great balance now.” 

 “It is a food product, and anyone suffering from sleeping disorders such as insomnia should not look to this as a medicine or cure.”

Walmart aspirations

There are two varieties: the original ‘Bedtime Blend / 40 Winks’ and an extra-valerian ‘Lights Out!’ version. The products are currently available in North America, with bags of ground coffee and single serve pods( K- Cups).

The brand will meet with Walmart at the end of the month.

“We hope to start off slow with them and pick a region where we are convinced we can be successful, and grow from there,” said Jessop. “Walmart would be a great client, but we want to ramp up in stages so we don't get overwhelmed, and we make sure we do a great job for them if they give us the chance.

“We have so many people contacting us on a daily basis asking where they can buy it: we really need help with retailers willing to carry us. It is a tough battle getting on shelves though. 

“We are very close to a tipping point where I think this brand can explode. We have a lot going for us in terms of exposure and interest: we are gearing up for rapid growth.

“One of the key things we need to do is find strategic partners to help us. It is so hard to create a start-up company of this nature. If we get the right strategic partners, we could grow this extremely fast.”

As the brand’s slogan summarizes, Counting Sheep Coffee believes it can change the way people drink coffee: ‘the best way to start your day is now the best way to end it.”

But, as it adds, “Just don’t mix up your coffee in the morning.

*Beverage & Dairy Treatment 2015: Free Online Event featuring speakers from Zenith International, KHS, Refresco Gerber and Meiji. Click here to register for the free online event.

2 comments (Comments are now closed)

Coffee distributed .

How can one get more info on the coffee that make you sleep. I am a coffee distribute . Thanks

Report abuse

Posted by Anderson. Hill
22 July 2015 | 20h272015-07-22T20:27:49Z

Where Do Coffee Brands Dominate?

Interesting coffee blend. I wonder if they think it will sell better in some parts of the world.

We found in a study that there is definitely a bias to coffee brands based on where you live. Here is the data if you want to see it.

I wonder if the same might be true for types of coffee blends. Maybe we should run that study! Please comment if you think we should.

Is anyone following McDonald's "The Corner" coffee strategy for the premium coffee market?

Report abuse

Posted by Xplane.Us
04 February 2015 | 18h522015-02-04T18:52:03Z

Related products

Key Industry Events

Promotional Features

Content Provided by Fonterra

Way forward with whey protein