Death Wish Coffee (How Much They Make and What They’re Worth)

Are you a devoted coffee drinker? If so, then you have probably already heard of Death Wish Coffee. Their claim to fame is that they created the world’s strongest cup of coffee.

Learn more about who they are and how they have grown in this short backstory!

Death Wish Coffee

How Death Wish Coffee Got Started

Death Wish Coffee had humble beginnings as a local coffee shop in Saratoga Springs, New York. Founder Mike Brown wanted to serve up something delicious and heavily caffeinated to his customers to keep them coming back. This sent him on a search for something unlike what his competitors were offering.

Enter the world’s strongest coffee.

Brown sourced his beans from Peru and India. Then, he decided to transform them with a unique roasting process that gives you one powerful cup of java. His blend is designed to be bold and highly caffeinated to give you a great start to every morning.

He even offers a guarantee: Death Wish Coffee will give you a full refund if it isn’t the strongest coffee you’ve ever tried.

How Did Death Wish Coffee Grow Their Brand?

The brand started off as being exclusive to their small local coffee shop but quickly expanded to online sales. They won a competition in 2015 that granted them a short commercial clip during the Super Bowl. This was really the beginning of their rapid growth.

Since then, they have been official coffee sponsors of New York Comic Con. They have also sponsored NASCAR drivers, and supported charities to give them some extra PR.

In 2018, they were able to make their boldest claim yet. They freeze-dried their coffee and sent it to the International Space Station to make it the strongest coffee in the galaxy.

As their brand grew, so did their desire for recognition. They also launched a line of goods that represent the brand.

How Does Death Wish Coffee Make Money?

Death Wish Coffee is most famous for their top-secret recipe for roasted coffee. These sales make up the majority of their income. However, it is not the only source of revenue for this savvy company.

While Death Wish Coffee started by selling coffee from a brick and mortar location in 2012. As they grew they started selling their coffee from their own ecommerce website.

Over the years their brand has grown and they have a tremendous sales channel using Amazon FBA and their coffee is now in many retailers across the United States.

On top of this, they understand that customers who shop with them want more than just a great cup of joe. Customers want the entire experience that Death Wish Coffee is more than happy to give them. To this end, they sell a lot of coordinating merchandise to go with their fantastic coffee blends.

You can purchase unique coffee mugs and t-shirts with their logo on them. Not only does this increase their revenue, but it also increases their brand awareness. Whenever you wear your t-shirt out and about, more people are likely to see it and purchase their own supply of Death Wish Coffee.

This company also sponsors events and celebrities to help advertise their wares. For example, they worked with the Special Olympics and sponsored NASCAR drivers for the Daytona 500.

What Type of Business is Death Wish Coffee?

Starting as a brick and mortar local coffee shop, Death Wish Coffee is now an ecommerce business, an Amazon FBA business, and they also sell their products to major retailers across the US.

Essentially, Death Wish Coffee is now a massive brand that uses several different business types to market their products.

How Much Traffic Does Death Wish Coffee Get?

Death Wish Coffee stats

While we don’t know exactly how much traffic Death Wish Coffee gets, we do know that estimates are that the website for this coffee brand gets around 420,000 visitors per month.

This is not bad for an ecommerce website that does a portion of its sales from the website itself.

What Platform Does Death Wish Coffee Use?

The website for Death Wish Coffee is built on the Shopify ecommerce platform. Many large ecommerce websites use Shopify as their platform of choice.

How Much is Death Wish Coffee Worth?

Are you curious how much money they are bringing in each year in sales? While it can be difficult to pin down the company’s exact worth, they are making more than $6 million in online sales each year.

We do know this has grown considerably as you can see in our calculations shown below.

Amount Death Wish Coffee Sold For

The Death Wish Coffee brand has not been sold yet. However, lets have some fun and look at what the Death Wish Coffee brand would sell for if it was going to sell today.

Website Revenue

First, we will need to look at their website to see if we can calculate what type of revenue they produce from that sales channel each month.

We know that the ecommerce site receives approximately 420,000 visitors per month. They have 12 coffee products plus merchandise and subscriptions.

We will focus only on the coffee products. If they average a sales price of $27 for their coffee products (not including merchandise and subscriptions), and have a standard 2% conversion rate, they could be generating $225,000 + from their ecommerce website each month. This is over $2.7 million per year.

If their average profit margin is 30% then this means they would have a net profit of $810,000 per year from their website.

Amazon Revenue

Besides their website, Death Wish also sells on the Amazon marketplace. They utilize Amazon FBA to fulfill their orders.

At the time of this writing they have seven different items for sale on Amazon.

Here’s a breakdown of the estimated sales per product found on Amazon at the time of this writing:

The Original Coffee (16 oz)
9,750 units sold per month
Price: $19.96
Estimated sales volume per month: $194,610

The Original Coffee (5 lbs)
5,340 units sold per month
Price: $79.99
Estimated sales volume per month: $427,146.6

VALHALLA (12 oz)
1110 units sold per month
Price: $15.99
Estimated sales volume per month: $17,748.90

Single Serve Coffee Pods
6990 units sold per month
Price: $15.99
Estimated sales volume per month: $111,770.10

VALHALLA (5 lbs)
450 units sold per month
Price: $79.99
Estimated sales volume per month: $35,995.50

Dark Roast (16 oz)
9750 units sold per month
Price: $37.98
Estimated sales volume per month: $370,305

Iced Cold Brew
330 units sold per month
Price: $39.99
Estimated sales volume per month: $13,196.70

Using the JungleScout sales estimator, we can determine that the approximate monthly gross revenue of Death Wish is $1,170,772.80 per month which equates to $14,049,273.60 per year!

If their average profit margin is 30% then they would have a net profit per year of $4,214,782.08 on Amazon alone.

Retail Outlets Revenue

Now we have no idea exactly how many retail outlets that death Wish Coffee is in. We do know that they are in most Krogers, Walmarts, and major retail outlets across the country.

Kroger has over 2,700 stores, Walmart has over 4,700 stores and when you add in all of the other local grocery retailers, it’s clear that the revenue from this sales channel is huge.

We will estimate that they are in at least 7,000 retail outlets. If they sold one unit per day per outlet that would mean they would have sold 7,000 units a day or 210,000 units per month.

That would place the revenue from retail outlets at a conservative $4,197,900 per month or $50,374,800 per year in gross sales. If they have a 30% average profit margin that would mean they have a net profit of $15,112,440 from retail outlets.

Adding all of these together means that Death Wish Coffee does $67,124,073 per year in gross sales.

This would place their net profits somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,137,222 per year.

Of course these are estimates based on the data we can observe. The sales volumes and average net profit may be higher or lower than what we show here.

We do know that in 2015 Death Wish Coffee made $6 million dollars in online sales.

It is possible that over the last 6 years the brand has grown that much.

We see several places that support our claim and say that the gross revenue of Death Wish Coffee is somewhere between $10 million and $100 million. That’s right in the range that we calculated.

If this range is correct, then that would mean that this coffee brand would be sold for $10 million to $90 million. It all depends on their average profit margin, net profit and growth trends.

Would Sell For: $10 million to $90 million

Key Takeaways

Death Wish Coffee is an amazing example of how to build an ecommerce business and then a national brand.

Do Something Different (Differentiate)

The first thing that the creators of Death Wish Coffee did was to take an existing product, and to make it different and some would argue even better.

People have been drinking Coffee for hundreds of years and today, there are thousands of coffee shops and hundreds of brands.

While there are many flavors of coffee, Death Wish Coffee decided to take a different approach. They labeled themselves “The World’s Strongest Coffee” and then created a product that was double the strength of a normal cup of coffee.

This brand set itself apart from others by differentiating themselves from everyone else in the marketplace.

Remember, no matter what market you’re in, if you can somehow make yourself stand out by being different and creating something the consumer will remember, you have a far better chance of success than merely blending in with other businesses.

Choose A Memorable Name

Regardless of the type of business you’re starting, it’s crucial that you think carefully about the name.

The name of your business should stand out as original. It needs to be something that will cause people to want to look more into your brand.

Death Wish Coffee at first may sound very off putting. Who wants to buy coffee that will kill you! However, the reverse is actually true. The name is actually brilliant because it caused people to want to know more about the products and what they’re all about.

Curiosity begins to get people to talk about a brand and then in turn they tell others. That’s just what happened with Death Wish Coffee.

Potential customers, the media, and anyone that hears the name instinctively want to know more.

Create A Premium Product

The creators of Death Wish Coffee positioned themselves in the marketplace not only as a unique product with a unique name, they also branded themselves as premium.

If you look at the price of their coffee, it’s about double (1.5x to 2x) the price of other well-known less than premium brands such as Dunkin Donuts, Seattle’s Best, and Green Mountain.

Creating a sense of “premium” is something that will allow you to sell your products for a much higher price which increases profit margins.

Be Willing To Spend To Create Brand Awareness

Death Wish Coffee was able to spread brand awareness by creating sponsorship deals as part of their whole strategy to market their products.

They have partnered with NASCAR, the Special Olympics, and even officially sponsored the New York Comic Con.

Be willing to create key partnerships with large events and well-known charitable organizations to help promote your brand.

Get your brand name in front of people as often as possible to build trust and brand awareness.

Use Viral Marketing And Social Media

Death Wish Coffee has used viral marketing quite successfully to promote their brand.

In fact, in 2018, they sent one of their coffee blends to the International Space Station. Doing this allowed them to call themselves “the strongest coffee in the galaxy”.

This brought media attention to their brand and they were even featured in the Tech Times.

If you can use viral marketing to bring attention to your brand, this will go a long way in getting your business noticed by the media and ultimately, consumers.

Develop A Social Media Presence

Social media can be a great way to not only showcase your business but it can also be a way to show social proof.

In the minds of consumers, if a brand has a large following on social media, it must be good.

Death Wish Coffee has used social media quite effectively. They have developed a large following on FaceBook (over 600,000 followers), on Twitter (over 108,000 followers), and Instagram (over 272,000 followers).

Make sure you develop your social media channels as you build your business. This channels can be used to not only sell your products, but they can be used to bring even greater awareness to your brand.

Create A User Experience

Death Wish Coffee not only sells coffee, they created a whole merchandise line to help spread the brand image and build a community of loyal followers.

Create an experience for your customers. When someone sees your brand make sure that they can feel and experience what you’re all about.

As you grow, it’s fine to create merchandise to help spread your brand name. Don’t do this too soon though or it can be a waste of money and actually be of no help at all.

What To Do Next?

If you’re ready to start an ecommerce business and potentially grow it to one day be the next Death Wish Coffee, you need to get started.

To learn how to properly start an ecommerce business, take a look at our tools section. We list there all of the most important tools you will need to start an ecommerce business and grow it properly.

If you already have a successful ecommerce business and are looking to sell it, take a look at our in-depth guide to selling an ecommerce business.

Who knows, maybe one day your ecommerce business will be worth over $10 million like Death Wish Coffee. Stranger things have happened!

Sources and References:

Death Wish Coffee