What ever happened to the cup of coffee for a buck?

15 Aug

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As I’m always on the look out as to what is going on in the food industry, I stumbled upon some info while I was having my early morning cup of joe. First thing you must know; I’m a coffee fan through and through. I’m not picky about my coffee; it can be 7-11, Starbucks, the local gas station, Dunkin’, or just a place with a hot pot. My only concern is the upgrades that we have all seen fast-food chains such as McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King and others brewing up profits with expanded coffee offerings in a down economy. (Are these upgraded menu’s going to have a strain on my pocket?)

In late 2008 McDonald’s spokesman Bill Whitman said the new additions on their menu had nothing to do with competing with Starbucks. “Offering a premium roast blend of coffee is consistent with our goal to provide customers with great taste, great convenience and great value,” he says. ‘Come to McDonald’s and get a premium cup of coffee without paying a premium price’ is a compelling offer” 

According to Packaged Facts, Fast-food operators’ interest in premium coffee is also due to their heated battle for the breakfast market, tapping into the trend whereby consumers have been eating more breakfasts and snacks—but fewer dinners—at restaurants.  Tim Hackbardt, Partner at strategic marketing firm White Barn Group, a “large portion” of consumers decide where to eat a quick-service breakfast based on the coffee offerings (Nation’s Restaurant News). 

Michael J. Silverstein, Senior Partner with the Boston Consulting Group, divides the
foodservice coffee market into three segments: Starbucks loyalists; “fuel seekers”—i.e.,
people who want a cup of coffee and don’t much care where they get it; and switchers—
people who make coffee-buying decisions based on their current financial situation.
“The
whole battle is over switchers, who buy Starbucks when they feel they have money and just
seek ‘fuel’ when money is tight,” he says (Condé Nast Portfolio). 

Which one are you? A Switcher or Fueler? Just some thoughts to get your weekend going…

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