Chevron's 'Bev-olution'

ExtraMile makes "biggest evolution" with Seattle's Best Coffee

Published in CSP Daily News

By  Abbie Westra, Editor-in-Chief, Convenience Store Products

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- When Chevron first rolled out ExtraMile as a pilot format in 2005, it delivered an upscaled c-store with an emphasis on creating a pleasant shopping experience. The HydraZone made beverages a marquee category; the foodservice was appealing and convenient. Image branding was modernized, and shelves were dropped down to eye level to create an airy feel.

Now, the brand is undergoing what's "likely the biggest evolution in the offer that we've made since we've had ExtraMile. It's a significant change and we're very excited about it," Paul Casadont, Americas merchandising manager with Chevron ExtraMile, told CSP Daily News.

That change is the rollout of Seattle's Best Coffee to all West Coast ExtraMile locations across California, Oregon and Washington, where there are 271 company-owned and 273 franchised stores. The conversion will begin mid-April and is expected to be complete by the end of June.

"We recognize that coffee is a critical part of many of our customers' daily routines," Casadont continues. "Our offering Seattle's Best Coffee, which is a top, premium brand, was a natural progression in our quest to evolve the ExtraMile brand and offer."

The rollout will come with a sampling program at every store, a coffee loyalty program, signage in the store and at the pumps, and radio advertising in select markets. Each store will get new brewers and thermal pots as well. Up to six varieties may be available at each store, says Casadont, though not every store will necessarily have all six.

The company expects the partnership with Seattle's Best will help it evolve its reputation for convenience, quality, value and consistency with existing customers, while drawing in new consumers who otherwise might not visit an ExtraMile.

"Seattle's Best Coffee has powerful brand equity and an expertise within the coffee industry, and their commitment to growing the coffee business with us is a win for ExtraMile," said Casadont concerning the Starbucks-owned brand.

According to Bloomberg, a 20-ounce cup of coffee will cost $1.56 at Chevron, compared with $1.86 at Seattle's Best retail stores. The same size coffee at Starbucks is $1.95. But Casadont emphasizesd that the company will be working with franchisees to create guidelines that make the most sense for them and their customers.

The ExtraMile customer varies by neighborhood and region, but Casadont said they are typically either Chevron fuel customers or heavy c-store users. "With the heavy c-store customer, these are people who are often in the stores 10, 12, 15, 20 times a month, sometimes as high as once a day. The convenience store is a part of their life. They use the cooler as their refrigerator."

San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron, one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops biofuels. It has more than 8,000 retail locations in the United States, on the West Coast and in the South. In addition, the company supplies more than 2,500 stations in southern and eastern states with Texaco-branded fuel.

By Abbie Westra, Editor-in-Chief, Convenience Store Products
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