Striking back against its lower-priced fast food competitors, Starbucks now plans to launch a second coffee brand, albeit a somewhat familiar one. Sometime this fall, Seattle’s Best Coffee—a former competitor acquired by Starbucks a few years back—will be sold in thousands of fast food restaurants, coffee houses, and supermarkets nationwide, according to the company.
Currently, Seattle’s Best is sold in Starbucks shops that are located inside nearly 500 Borders bookstores, and in 2,500 grocery stores.
A Starbucks spokesperson said the Seattle’s Best brand will also be sold in convenience stores, coffee carts, drive-through kiosks, mobile trucks and vending machines. Starbucks has already made deals to sell Seattle’s Best coffee at Burger King and Subway restaurants.
The new effort is seen as a counterattack against specialty coffee rollouts by McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, and other chains that now sell premium espresso-based beverages at lower prices than Starbucks. Seattle’s Best will be positioned as a brand for the ‘regular Joe’ who’s looking for an unpretentious cup of quality coffee.
Doesn’t it seem kind of ironic that Seattle-based Starbucks is rolling out a secondary brand with the name “Seattle’s Best?” Anyway…
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