Starbucks' Latest Market: Starbucks Haters

Seattle's Best sticks brand name on middle-market brew
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 1, 2011 3:36 PM CDT
The new Seattle's Best Coffee Level System.   (Photo: Business Wire)
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(Newser) – Starbucks is taking aim at a new demographic: those who avoid the brand at all costs. The chain is promoting a makeover for Seattle’s Best Coffee, a brand it acquired nearly a decade ago, in the hope that it will capture middle-market coffee drinkers. To that end, the subsidiary has cut deals with Burger King, Subway, AMC cinemas, and Delta Airlines, where it’s now served on every flight.

Seattle’s Best has 325 shops; it will soon open 10 more inside Canadian Walmart stores. It’s now sold in 50,000 locations, but Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wants to double that. The goal: $1 billion in revenue. “People don't drink no-name colas, but lots of people drink no-name coffees,” says president Michelle Gass. She hopes to change that, seeking customers who’d like name-brand coffee without the “class statement” of Starbucks, Business Week notes.

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