Seattles Best Coffee revamps business model

by Erica Shaffer
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SEATTLE — Seattle’s Best Coffee, part of Starbucks Corp., has embarked on a new brand direction that includes new retail relationships, expanded franchising efforts and a new logo.

“We are determined to turn the traditional coffee model on its head with innovative new approaches in every phase of our business — partnerships, retail, and packaged goods — and to take our premium coffee to the places our customers go in their everyday lives,” said Michelle Gass, president of Seattle’s Best Coffee.

The company plans to expand from the current 3,000 distribution points to more than 30,000 by the end of Starbucks’ fiscal year. Beginning in July, AMC Theatres will serve Seattle’s Best Blend coffee in nearly 300 theatres nationwide. Almost 70 AMC locations also will serve espresso-based beverages.

“The addition of Seattle’s Best Coffee to our concession offerings allows our guests to enjoy a fresh-brewed, premium cup of coffee at our theaters which gives us a competitive advantage and also allows us to provide a consistent coffee experience circuit-wide,” said Gerry Lopez, chief executive officer and president of AMC.

The AMC partnership is part of Seattle’s Best Coffee strategy to expand consumer accessibility to the brand.

The company previously had announced agreements with Burger King Corp., Miami, which will begin serving Seattle’s Best Coffee in September, and Alaska Airlines, Borders bookstores and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

The new logo maintains the brand’s historic association with its name and the color red while including universal coffee symbols, such as a drop and a cup, according to the company.

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