Chick-fil-A Crows About New Beans

Says it is first specialty-grade coffee offer in QSR industry

Published in CSP Daily News

ATLANTA -- Chicken chain Chick-fil-A is partnering with THRIVE Farmers Coffee to introduce what it said is the QSR industry's first-ever specialty-grade coffee. The coffee was created specifically for the chain and is available in restaurants nationwide.

The sale of each cup of coffee provides direct revenue to the THRIVE Farmers network of family farmers in Central America, allowing them to earn up to 10 times more than farmers earn in traditional revenue models.

The Atlanta-based restaurant chain's new coffee qualifies as specialty grade per the standards of the Specialty Coffee Association of America and only the top 10% of coffees consumed worldwide meet this quality designation. THRIVE Farmers' blend is also unique to Chick-fil-A as it has been crafted with characteristics and flavors that complement the chain's breakfast menu as well as allows it to stand alone as a premium cup of coffee throughout the day. The hand-picked, medium-roast coffee offers a rich balance of flavors not typically seen in the quick-service industry, including notes of caramel and cocoa with a light citrus finish.

The proprietary coffee blend starts at $1.59.

Chick-fil-A's new iced coffee is handcrafted daily and prepared with an exclusive blend of THRIVE Farmers' cold-brewed, specialty coffee beans and fresh 2% milk, sweetened with pure cane syrup and served over ice. Available in original and vanilla, iced coffee is available in 16-oz. and 20-oz. servings and priced starting from $2.29 and $2.59, respectively.

"We reflected on feedback from our customers who expressed that they wanted a better cup of coffee, and we found a partner who brought the added expertise we needed. The true magic of this relationship is that not only does the coffee taste great, we also found a partner who shares our belief that business can be bigger than the bottom line," said David Farmer, vice president of product strategy and development for Chick-fil-A. "Now we are able to serve our customers an amazing cup of coffee that also will improve the lives of the farmers who grow it."

Michael Jones, founder and CEO of THRIVE Farmers added, "Our partnership with Chick-fil-A is rooted in a shared commitment to providing quality coffee while impacting farmers and their communities. By partnering with Chick-fil-A's 1,800-plus restaurants, we have together an unprecedented opportunity to expand the impact of our farmer-direct platform and allow Chick-fil-A's customers to know the positive impact they are having on the farmers who grow their coffee."

THRIVE Farmers farmer-direct platform includes a revenue-sharing model that stabilizes the price paid to farmers year over year. THRIVE Farmers signs contracts with actual farmers and farmer groups to supply Chick-fil-A coffee, and the farmers' payment for the sale of their coffee is not tied to the volatile commodity markets. Instead farmers maintain an economic interest in their coffee from the time it leaves the farm until Chick-fil-A purchases it from THRIVE Farmers. By eliminating all non-essential layers in the supply chain, this model creates economic sustainability for farmers because they can earn more money, up to 10 times more than through traditional models, which allows them to reinvest in their communities and crops.

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has approximately 1,800 locations in 39 states and Washington, D.C., with 2013 sales of more than $5 billion.

Keywords: 
coffee, hot dispensed