The company that invented coffee-to-go some 40 years ago and sells at least a million cups a day is launching a multi-million-dollar “freshness guaranteed” advertising blitz in February.
With taglines like “Our coffee’s fresher than your average Joe” and “Guaranteed fresh or we’ll brew it new,” 7-Eleven, Inc. plans to educate coffee drinkers about the chain’s commitment to quality.
The ad campaign includes radio advertising, billboards, messages on the side of buses and even posters at Long Island Rail Road stations. Signs inside and outside the more than 5,500 U.S. 7-Eleven stores will let customers know they can ask a 7-Eleven employee to brew a fresh pot on the spot. Local promotions will be a part of the marketing mix.
“We want to communicate quality along with convenience,” said Kerry Burson, 7-Eleven’s senior director of beverages. "7-Eleven and convenience are synonymous, but not everyone may know that each time we brew a pot of our top-selling coffees, we first grind beans just for those pots. Not all major coffee retailers can claim that. The most popular flavors are our Exclusive Blend and Dark Mountain Roast for the majority of 7-Eleven stores, and the Exclusive Blend and Columbian varieties for our stores in the upper Midwest.”
7-Eleven has been grinding coffee beans in stores since the mid-1980s. Packages of 100-percent Arabica whole beans are delivered to the stores, where they are ground fresh just before being brewed, one pot at a time (in some 60 California 7-Eleven stores, coffee is made in larger urns). Coffee is the convenience retailer’s number-one selling proprietary beverage, and more than half of its customers purchase a beverage when they visit the stores.
“We’re selling more than a convenient cup of coffee,” Burson said. “We offer quality, fresh-ground, fresh-brewed coffee for people on the go. Our customers want a great-tasting cup of coffee, fast and at a good value. Ounce for ounce, 7-Eleven offers one of the best coffee deals around.”
Prices for a cup of 7-Eleven coffee range from a little over $1 for a 12-ounce cup to $1.49 for a 24-ounce size. 7-Eleven customers can customize their coffee and other hot beverages to suit themselves, adding as many flavored creamers, syrups, spices and condiments as they like — at no extra charge. The per-cup price is the same no matter which hot beverage is chosen.
"When you think about it, the smallest cup at 7-Eleven, a 12-ounce size, averages about 9-cents an ounce," Burson said. "7-Eleven’s 24-ounce size cup costs only 7 cents per ounce – complete with any and all coffee condiments. This is still a-hard-to-beat value, especially as a tougher economy causes consumers to carefully consider where to spend their money.”
7 Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 7,300 stores in North America.