PG Web Extra: Starbucks’ In-store Signature

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PG Web Extra: Starbucks’ In-store Signature

By Bridget Goldschmidt, EnsembleIQ - 05/26/2015

When it comes to selling coffee, tea and other beverages, Starbucks isn't content to limit its unique atmosphere to its many branded retail stores.

"Our goal is to bring the Starbucks store experience alive in the grocery aisle," a representative of the Seattle-based coffee giant tells Progressive Grocer. "In the grocery store, research shows the average shopper spends about 87 seconds in the wine aisle, 74 seconds in the tea section and 68 seconds in the coffee aisle. Customers are willing to explore and discover new products, and part of bringing an 'engaging, educational' Starbucks experience to a grocery setting involves helping shoppers make choices when they have a bit more time to spend in the coffee aisle."

To that end, the company collaborated with retailers on the Starbucks Signature Aisle, which the rep describes as "a fixture modeled after the look and feel of a Starbucks store," with the aim of "[elevating] the shopping experience."

As the rep describes it: "Small design features signal a unique experience: a pendant light, tile backsplash, a countertop with serving plane and the most important asset – and our beacon – a lit siren sign."

There are currently more than 500 of Signature Aisles throughout the United States, with more in the pipeline. "We also work closely with our retail customers to adapt Signature Aisle to meet their needs," notes the rep. "We’ve seen triple the velocity at Signature Aisle stores, and it also drives two times the category growth for stores with a Signature Aisle. For retailers, the coffee aisle is a success story -- it continues to grow at a rate double that of the total store; a bright spot in center store. And with Starbucks Signature Aisle, we've seen those numbers [rise] even higher."

Marley Coffee Introducing Recyclable RealCup

Marley Coffee, a sustainably grown, ethically farmed and artisan-roasted premium coffee company, is set to roll out its recyclable RealCup, a sustainable and easy-to-recycle single-serve capsule that is compatible with most Keurig K-Cup machines, this summer.

"When I got into this business, I wanted to do something for the community — both around our coffee farm and for the worldwide community as a whole," notes Rohan Marley, chairman of Denver-based Marley Coffee and son of reggae legend Bob Marley. "In life, you have to put yourself forward. You have to plant the seeds and watch yourself grow. Our recyclable RealCup is a sustainable solution that will benefit all communities … [Additionally, our] new packaging … will help call out this benefit to consumers."

"We estimate that over 10 billion single-serve capsules are discarded in landfills annually in North America alone," says Marley CEO Brent Toevs. "With the introduction of the recyclable RealCup, we believe that we are providing a game-changing, sustainable solution that consumers have been demanding without compromising taste or quality. … We estimate that if we can convince 1 percent of the market to switch to our RealCup, we can keep 100 million capsules out of landfills. From a business perspective this has the potential to more than double our projected gross sales. For us it’s good business, but more than that, it’s also the right business."

Marley Coffee will be the first premium coffee brand to bring the recyclable RealCup to market. The capsule's award-winning technology is the brainchild of Marley Coffee's strategic partner, Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee, based in Mississauga, Ontario. Other brands adopting the capsule include Martinson, Numi Organic Tea, Wolfgang Puck and Tim Hortons.

Additionally, in furtherance of Marley Coffee’s sustainability efforts, the brand donates 1 cent of every single-serve capsule sold to Water Wise Coffee, an initiative that aims to improve water quality in coffee-producing countries around the world, starting with Ethiopia.

World Tea Expo Mulls How to Woo Coffee Drinkers

At the recent World Tea Expo, which took place May 6-8 in Long Beach, Calif., attendees explored how to get coffee drinkers to enjoy tea, as well as holding an exclusive presentation on coffee leaf tea, a new variety in the marketplace.

Tea educator and consultant Lisa Boalt Richardson presented "How to Get Coffee Drinkers to Enjoy Tea" at the show, noting that many diehard coffee fans are looking into tea for such reasons as health, digestion, reducing caffeine intake and overall interest, although many struggle to find a tea they can truly enjoy. Richardson’s session offered ways to help coffee lovers learn to appreciate tea.

Meanwhile, Max Rivest and Arnaud Petitvallet, co-founders of North Vancouver, British Columbia-based coffee leaf tea purveyor Wize Monkey, led the "Focused Tasting" of an infusion of Arabica coffee leaves. In their session, "Coffee Leaf Tea: The Revolutionary New Tea," Rivest and Petitvallet pointed out that the innovative beverage contains higher antioxidants than green tea, and that by harvesting coffee leaves year-round, growers can create stable work and more sustainably improve their quality of life.

Other key highlights of World Tea Expo included a product-filled expo; the Best New Product Awards; the World Tea Awards; The North American Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle; the World Origin Tasting Tour; and the Tea Business Boot Camp, among other education and networking opportunities.

The annual trade show is a program of The Beverage Group, a division of New York-based integrated media company F + W.

Keurig Green Mountain, Reily Foods Form Partnership

Keurig Green Mountain Inc. and Reily Foods Co. have forged an exclusive multiyear manufacturing and distribution agreement for New England brand coffee, New Orleans Famous French Market Since 1890 brand coffee and Luzianne brand iced tea pods for Keurig hot-brewing systems in the United States and Canada. Financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.

The new agreement enables consumers in at-home and away-from-home channels to enjoy the aforementioned brands in a variety of Keurig formats. The companies plan to launch the new, licensed K-Cup pods in fall 2015. All Reily Foods K-Cup pods will feature the Keurig Brewed seal, indicating that the product has undergone stringent testing.

"The quality of our products, matched with the convenience that the Keurig system, delivers … real benefits to our consumers," says David Darragh, president and CEO of New Orleans-based Reily Foods.

"Consumers consistently choose the Keurig brewing system for its quality, simplicity, and unsurpassed variety, with over 400 varieties from 60 brands available in the system," observes John Whoriskey, president, U.S. sales and marketing at Green Mountain, Vt.-based Keurig, a provider of specialty coffee, coffee makers, teas and other beverages.

In related news, New England Coffee, a Malden, Mass.-based division of Reily Foods, has released Spring Awakening, a seasonal blend made from a unique arrangement of South American, African and Indonesian coffee beans. As with all of the brand’s blends, Spring Awakening is made with 100 percent high-quality Arabica coffee beans and small-batch roasted to ensure superior flavor. A lighter roast, Spring Awakening is part of a series of limited-time-only products New England Coffee will offer throughout 2015, including longtime customer favorites as well as several new flavors.

The freshly ground product is available through June 2015 in bold, colorful 12-ounce packages online and at such select retailers as Acme Markets, Market Basket, Roche Bros., ShopRite, and Tops Markets.

To support last month's launch, the brand ran a playful Spring Awakening sampling campaign in which bags of coffee, mugs and coupons were distributed at locations around downtown Boston by "zombies," to mark the arrival of warmer weather and help ward off the #coffeezombie lurking in everyone.

Lavazza to Roll Out 1st U.S. Broadcast Campaign

As one way to mark its 120th anniversary, Italian coffee brand Lavazza is launching the biggest international communication campaign in its history. "Lavazza, There's More to Taste" includes the Turin-based company's first-ever broadcast push in the U.S. market.

Created by the Y&R Italia advertising agency, the campaign features the advice given to the young Luigi Lavazza, future founder of the company, by his father: "In life, there's always more to taste."

"Our aim is to tell the story of tradition and innovation, of research and passion embodied in every single one of the over 17 billion cups of Lavazza coffee enjoyed each year worldwide," explains Lavazza Corporate Image Director Francesca Lavazza. "Today, we possess the same energy that encouraged our founder, Luigi Lavazza, to travel the globe to discover all the different countries where coffee is grown and to develop the concept of blending, which revolutionized the coffee sector by offering it a new world of aromas and flavor."

The 30- and 60-second commercials were directed by award-winning French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, whose feature-length offerings include the popular "Amélie" (2001). Starring and narrated by well-known Italian actor Sergio Castellitto, the ads tell the story of Luigi Lavazza in Jeunet's hallmark filmmaking style encompassing elements of magical realism.

The campaign will kick off worldwide in movie theaters, television, web, print and billboards in Germany, France, Canada and the United Kingdom, followed by other countries, including the United States and Canada in August.