And nine other premium coffee beverages.
On Tuesday, Burger King will announce plans for a massive upgrade of its coffee platform — doubling the number of coffee beverages it sells to 10 in partnership with Seattle’s Best Coffee. The move — reminiscent of what McDonald’s did years ago by launching McCafes to compete with Starbucks — comes at a time the number of U.S. specialty coffee servings (such as latte and cappuccino) jumped a robust 6% last year, three times that of regular coffee, reports research firm NPD Group.
“People want to one-stop shop,” says restaurant industry researcher and consultant Malcolm Knapp. That is, they want to snare good joe and good grub at the same fast-food restaurant without having to make two stops. This is particularly true at breakfast, which Burger King says it’s targeting.
“A great line of coffee is the foundation of a great breakfast,” says Eric Hirschhorn, vice president of innovation at Burger King. The chain spent nearly a year developing the new line with partner Seattle’s Best, which is owned by Starbucks. Every time a consumer purchases a cup of coffee at Burger King, Starbucks makes a profit.
There’s enormous profit in sales of soft drinks and coffee beverages. “They’re a lot more profitable than cheeseburgers or fries,” Knapp says. With soft-drink sales on a steady decline, restaurants increasingly are relying on coffee product sales for profits.
Which may be one reason why BK is about to roll out a bunch. Beginning this week, BK is replacing its current brewed coffee with a smoother Seattle’s Best blend. It also will have a new decaf and a new hot chocolate.
BK also will roll out four new $1.49 iced coffees: plain, vanilla, mocha and caramel. And it will roll out four lattes — $2.29 for small and $3.49 for large — in those same four flavors. The latte rollout begins in March.