‘Awfully Good’

‘Grumppuccino’: A Look at the New Coffee Line by Famed Internet Meme Grumpy Cat

Grumpy Cat, the feline Internet celebrity, is testing the limits of licensing success with a new coffee line.

Amanda Edwards/WireImage, via Getty,Amanda Edwards

The angry little kitty Grumpy Cat is at it again. The scowling sourpuss has had her fair share of fame—from winning “Meme of the Year” at the Webby Awards to a mug, T-shirt, and sticker empire—but now she’s after a more robust brand. Grumpy Cat, a.k.a. Tardar Sauce, is taking on the coffee industry with the release of her new line.

On July 27, Grumpy Cat announced to her more than 100,000 Twitter followers that Grumppuccino, a Grumpy Cat–branded iced-coffee drink, would be coming soon. According to her agent, Ben Lashes (yes, she has an agent), the brew will be available online starting August 7 and comes in three varieties: vanilla, mocha, and regular coffee. The tagline of the new brew is “It’s Awfully Good,” and Lashes swears that it tastes delicious.

The idea began with a pitch from a beverage-company representative. Lashes and the rep thought it would a perfect combination since everyone is grumpy in the morning. The team spent the spring doing behind-the-scenes work on the coffee product and focused quality, going to taste laboratories and learning more about the beverage world. Lashes said the tasting process, and perfection of the formula, hasn’t been a “cheap endeavor.”

Grumpy’s team hired sales reps and arranged for distribution. The products will be stocked in 1,000 different golf courses when it launches and additional stores come September. “We thought it was an awesome thing and we thought that people would notice it, but we didn’t think it would move so fast,” Lashes said.

“There’s a great sense of humor behind it—whether one of your friends is a Grumpy Cat fan or just a coffee fan,” he said. “You know it’s going to be the thing that they totally freak out about.”

Grumpy Cat has proven her ability to attract fans and move product. The book Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book debuted at No. 7 on The New York Times’ advice-book bestsellers list. She has been the star of Friskies commercial webisodes and is slated to appear in a Hollywood film, which Lashes couldn’t give too much away about. When Grumpy was a guest at SXSW Interactive, Lashes said people would walk by and ask, “Whose keynote speech is this?” looking at the curling long line.

“Grumpy ended up getting more social mentions than any other keynote speaker during South by Southwest interactive,” Lashes said—even against speakers like Al Gore (and he invented the Internet!).

Up next for Tardar Sauce will be the release of the Grumpy Cat plush dolls created by the same company that makes the stuffed version of Boo, the world’s cutest dog. The fake Grumpy Cats will come out “just in time for Christmas,” her agent said. In Grumpy Cat’s own enduring words: “Jingle bells. Go to hell.