Starbucks Coffee and Coinstar Team Up To Create Seattle’s Best Coffee Vending Machines

Today we bring you news regarding the “Rubi,” a coffee kiosk brought to you by Coinstar and Seattle’s Best Coffee, who is partners with Starbucks.

The two companies plan to launch thousands of kiosks in grocery and drug stores, with machines available as early as this summer in the Northeast and West Coast. Seattle’s Best Coffee and Coinstar are expecting 500 kiosks by the end of this year, and thousands in the years to come.

If you’re a little surprised to see Coinstar as their partner, don’t be. Coinstar, the company behind the Redbox Movie Rental kiosks and Coinstar Coin-Counting kiosks (I hope that wasn’t a surprise), have already run a highly successful test pilot.

According to a press-release from Starbucks, the Rubi kiosk grinds and brews fresh, whole beans on demand for single cup servings. Starting at $1 for a cup of coffee, the machines also specialize in other drinks, such as mochas and vanilla lattes, for $1.50.

Personally, I think this is a fresh spin on the coffee vending machines that we’re all used to seeing. If you were one of the lucky people who got a taste from the pilot machine, or see one pop up in your neighborhood, feel free to drop us some feedback in the comments!

Fast Food

Taco Bell Breakfast — Everything You Need To Know About FirstMeal

With Taco Bell now officially launching their breakfast menu in 10 western states, we’re here to shed some light on the taco giant’s early morning offerings. Through an official press release, we now know the organized breakfast menu will operate under the name ‘FirstMeal™’ a fun concept juxtaposition to their late night branding of ‘Fourth Meal’.

Back in September of 2011, we caught a whiff of a local Southern California Taco Bell location toying with the breakfast menu, and last week we confirmed the FirstMeal name and the menu items that would be available. As of yesterday, January 26th, 750 stores across 10-western states including California, Arizona and Colorado began serving the 11-item breakfast menu.

The fast food breakfast arena is a crowded one, and it looks like Taco Bell, albeit a powerhouse in the fast food game, definitely saw fit to partner with several key breakfast brands to attack the market in a serious way. Included in the menu are the likes of Johnsonville®, Cinnabon®, Tropicana and Seattle’s Best Coffee.

The full FirstMeal™ menu, in order of price: Sausage or Bacon and Egg Burrito, Hash Browns, Seattle’s Best Coffee® ($1.49 cents); Cinnabon Delights™ ($1.49), Tropicana Orange Juice ($1.49), Johnsonville® Sausage and Egg Wrap ($1.79), Seattle’s Best Coffee® Premium Vanilla or Mocha Iced Coffee ($1.99), Steak and Egg Burrito ($1.99), Grande Skillet Burrito ($2.79). Three combos will be offered, all for $3.99, which includes a drink and hash brown. Prices and items may vary at participating locations.

Time is a factor, and we experienced a tragic first Taco Bell breakfast run a few months back, showing up just minutes after the 11AM breakfast deadline. That’s right, breakfast will be served from 8 or 9AM until 11AM daily. Showing up at 11AM for some breakfast burritos? Better hope somewhere else is serving them.

Before the 750-store rollout, Taco Bell tested their FirstMeal options in over 150 stores in four markets, and Taco Bell’s Brian Niccol, the Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer mentions that the breakfast launch is beginning in the west, “where people grew up with breakfast burritos,” and that he hopes to reach a national audience in the future.

Our friends at the OC Register have compiled a list of all the locations currently serving breakfast, if you want to be absolutely sure before you set your alarm any earlier than normal.

What do you guys think of Taco Bell’s breakfast offerings? Awesome? Boring? Lacking? Just right? Not what you expected?

Let us know in the comments!



Seattle’s Best Reveals New Coffee-Bar-Within-A-Walmart Concept

After the bankruptcy and subsequent closure of Borders bookstores across the nation, Seattle’s Best Coffee faced the loss hundreds of points of distribution. Where the Starbucks-owned brand lost a reported 225 locations in the Borders bankruptcy, they keep pushing forward, revealing a new store-within-a-store concept in four Canadian Walmart stores.

Despite the Border’s fallout Seattle’s Best announced that their coffee was now available at more than 50,000 locations earlier this month. This is a staggering number, and seems to be serving as a more approachable coffee experience than the stereotypical “yuppie” demographic captured by its Starbucks father.

Following similar strategies Starbucks employed for its own brand, Seattle’s Best has continuously focused on the addition of new distribution channels. Notably, the brand currently has strong distribution ties with the likes of Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, SubwayBurger King, and now Walmart.

While the scope of the partnership is a mere 4 locations deep, the partnership is rather interesting and poses a huge opportunity for the growing coffee brand. The Walmart version of their stores range in size from 400-square feet. to 1,000-square feet, with walk-up windows and seating at the bar.

What do y’all think? Does Seattle’s Best Coffee sound like a good fit for Walmart stores?


Burger King: Free Coffee Fridays (November)

During the month of November, Burger King will be offering up one free 12 oz. hot Seattle’s Best Coffee per customer, per visit, during breakfast hours on Friday. The offer is not extended to flavored shots, whipped topping and is at participating restaurants only. The restaurant locator on the BK Website will show you which locations are offering this free coffee in your area.


Burger King: Heavily Expanding Breakfast Menu

In a crazy push to fight for some of the breakfast fast food market, Burger King is rolling out a hefty new layer of selections on their breakfast menu. The menu still includes their Croissanwiches, their BK Breakfast Bowl and other current holdings, but the additions include the BK Breakfast Ciabatta Club Sandwich (pictured above) which comes complete with eggs, tomato, ham, bacon, American cheese and “smoky tomato sauce”, all on a toasted ciabatta bun. Solo price on this sandwich will run you $2.89. In addition to the sandwich, the menu will see the addition of $1 Mini Blueberry Biscuits (four of them are also pictured above, served with a warm side of vanilla icing for dipping).


Borders/Seattle's Best Coffee: Free 12 oz. Beverage

Starting yesteray, April 30th, and ending on National Foodbeast Day, May 6th, 2009, Seattle’s Best Coffee houses within Borders bookstore locations will be offerring free 12 oz. beverages! Head over to their website to get your coupon and find a location near you!