Seattle's Best Debuts Drive-Thru Concept

New coffee concept will serve as learning lab; Evolution Fresh opens first juice store

Published in CSP Daily News

NORTHLAKE, Ill. -- Starbucks Corp.'s Seattle's Best Coffee has opened a new coffee drive-thru concept in Northlake, Ill., designed to meet the needs of the more than 36,000 commuters in the suburban Chicago neighborhood.

The concept offers never-before-seen coffee beverages, freshly baked food items and other car-friendly sandwiches and snacks.

"Our customers are constantly on the go, and they tell us that finding great coffee options that fit their busy lifestyles is tough. They're sacrificing great-tasting coffee and food for speed and convenience, and we can put an end to that," said Jim McDermet, senior vice president and general manager of Seattle's Best Coffee. "We've designed all elements of this concept with a focus on world-class drive-thru service, and because of our history as a coffeehouse brand we can also guarantee the highest-quality coffee and food with a smile."

An easy-to-navigate menu board design ( click here to see the menu) and straightforward pricing let drivers clearly see the quality and value the brand is delivering. Coffee drinkers can meet their basic coffee needs with a choice of Original or Dark, and they can stir things up with flavored creamers, allowing them to have their coffee exactly the way they like it, at no extra cost. Featured in the center of the menu board are the brand's new signature beverages such as Caramel Candy and Birthday Cake lattes, and Caramel Pretzel and S'mores mochas.

"In this location we're debuting our revamped coffee and food menu based on what customers have told us is important," McDermet said.

The food menu is designed to deliver car-friendly options for any time of the day. For the first time, the brand will offer fresh-baked muffins, cookies and multigrain bars. Breakfast sandwiches are available on either a biscuit or a muffin, and warm pretzel bread stuffed with a choice of either turkey or ham round out hearty lunch options. Snack items include Sour Cream Coffee Cake, individual Caramel Apple Pies and a Cheese Pretzel Danish.

This new coffee drive-thru concept will serve as a learning lab for the brand as it evolves its retail presence to meet the demand for premium coffee on the go. Real-time results from this store will inform menu strategies for the current base of nearly 100 cafes as well as future locations.

Seattle's Best Coffee is on a mission to bring its coffee to new and unexpected locations where traditionally it has been hard to find great coffee.

Located in Northlake, Ill., 14 miles from downtown Chicago, the new retail location is within the parking lot of a Walmart. The drive-thru will be open Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 6 a.m. to midnight.

Seattle's Best Coffee LLC has been roasting premium coffee since 1970 and today roasts more than 20 million pounds of coffee every year. Seattle's Best Coffee is available in more than 50,000 locations, including cafes, college campuses, restaurants, hotels, airlines, cruise ships, grocery stores and movie theaters. Seattle's Best Coffee is a featured brand within Starbucks.

Meanwhile, four months after acquiring Evolution Fresh Inc., Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee Co. has opened the first Evolution Fresh store and transformed the brand's look and feel. The company said that the Bellevue, Wash., store opening and refreshed branding positions Evolution Fresh to be a leader in the $3.4 billion and growing cold-crafted-juice category.

The store introduces customers to a premium juice and food experience. Combining fresh, natural ingredients with culinary and globally inspired recipes, each order is personalized and handcrafted; offerings include wraps, salads, soups and more. Evolution Fresh also offers vegetarian and vegan offerings.

In the store, a patent-pending interactive juice wall displays educational and entertaining digital illustrations of juices and smoothies being made. Customers can order personalized fresh hot and cold food items at the food counter or grab ready-to-drink beverages and food items to go.

Evolution Fresh uses high-pressure processing (HPP) to preserve fresh-picked flavor and capture more of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients of fruit and vegetables; the juice is squeezed fresh, bottled cold and never heated. It offers a portfolio of bottled juices, available in grocery retailers (and soon through Starbucks stores) on the West Coast, and serves customers seeking superpremium juices and foods through a differentiated retail store experience.

Also, Evolution Fresh is designed and constructed to meet Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The store includes many LEED-certified features, including its urban location, locally sourced materials and reused and recycled components, as well as elements that lead to water and energy conservation and waste reduction.