Chick-fil-a has become the latest fast food chain to upgrade their coffee offerings. The fast food chain has popular breakfast sandwiches, but was behind larger chains like McDonalds when it came to coffee options, and in an effort to boost their breakfast sales, they decided to partner with Thrive Farmers Coffee. Thrive is an Atlanta-based startup whose goal is not only to offer retailers better quality coffee, but to offer more revenue to the farmers who grow the beans. Instead of paying the farmers based on the wholesale price of the unprocessed beans, Thrive roasts the beans and sells them, then splits that higher profit with farmers. The payout model offers farmers 50% of the sales price for roasted beans and 75% for green beans that are sold to other coffee roasters.
The Chick-fil-A program has been in development in test stores for over a year, and the chain says that the new brew has boosted coffee sales by 35 percent. The announcement of a national roll-out is huge for Thrive, too. Up until now, the company’s largest account has been a regional Whole Foods-style store, and moving into 1,825 Chick-fil-a stores around the country means that up to 2 million people a day will see the Thrive’s logo.
In the news, I’ve seen the headline boldly proclaiming that half the world prefers instant coffee to regular coffee. Eastern and Western Europe combined drink 40% of the world’s instant coffee, with Eastern Europe consuming more than twice as much as Western. Australia and Asia account for most of the rest of instant coffee consumption. That sure sounds like the headlines are correct and that people are clammoring for instant coffee!
But what these headlines are omitting is that instant coffee has an almost indefinite shelf life and is significantly less expensive to buy than fresh coffee. Most of the places where instant coffee is “preferred” are places where there is not a huge, developed coffee culture and/or places where the cost of freshly brewed coffee puts it out of reach as a daily drink for those who are not affluent. American coffee drinkers are the least likely to opt for instant coffee, with an almost total (up to 90%) preference for fresh brewed. We have a strong coffee culture and as a result we have a basic expectation for how tasty and fresh our coffee should be (though even “fresh” coffee isn’t necessarily delicious coffee). It is likely that as coffee becomes even more popular globally, consumers in other areas will start to seek out more flavorful options than instant, too.
Coffee and wine are two of the world’s most popular drinks, but they’re not often drunk together. Soon, however, the two drinks will meet in a new product from Friends Fun Wine, the Florida company known for their easy to drink canned wines: Coffee Wine. The canned drink comes in two flavors – Cabernet Coffee Espresso and Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino – and their are two servings per can, which means that there is plenty to share with a friend if you decide to take a chance and give the drink a try with someone as daring as you are.
The press release states “The Cabernet Coffee Espresso features a rich flavor of cabernet grapes, espresso coffee and a hint of chocolate, while Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino features sweet, refreshing Chardonnay grapes with vanilla cappuccino coffee and smooth hints of chocolate.”
To be honest, my initial thought is that this is a terrible idea. I don’t think that there is a big call for a product like this one from consumers looking to combine wine and coffee in the first place. But I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and give it a try if/when I see it in stores to see if it exceeds my expectations.
Subway may specialize in sandwiches, but the popular chain also serves up a large breakfast menu and plenty of coffee each day. They’re not known for their coffee, however, especially after the breakfast hours when they make it available but don’t serve much of it to customers. Subway and Keurig have just reached an agreement to put Keurig single cup coffee makers into all of their US and Canada stores. More than half of Subway stores already use Keurig machines to make fresh coffee available at all times of the day. Individual k-cups may be more expensive than a cup of coffee brewed as part of a large batch, but since Subway shops are not typically where people go specifically to get coffee, it might be more cost effective for them because virtually no coffee will go to waste.