Caribou looks to build its brand with coffee delivery subscriptions

The Minneapolis-based chain on Wednesday launched home delivery for weekly or monthly subscriptions of coffee, tea and ready-to-drink, canned beverages.
Caribou Coffee
Photo courtesy Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee is launching a home-delivery coffee subscription service with hopes of building the Midwestern brand’s name around the country, the chain announced Wednesday.

Customers can select ground coffee, K-Cup pods, teas or ready-to-drink canned beverages to be delivered every week, every other week or monthly.

The Minneapolis-based coffee chain, which has 320 company-owned stores and 130 licensed units in the U.S., said the subscription program is its way of extending its brand beyond its geographic footprint.

“While our brand has a strong brick-and-mortar presence in the Midwest, we know that there are passionate Caribou Coffee fans in all 50 states,” VP of Brand Strategy Erin Newkirk said in a statement. "One of the questions we hear most often is, 'I love Caribou. When are you coming to my hometown?!'; The answer is as soon as we possibly can and until then, check out Caribou Coffee Subscriptions, built to make your coffee routine as delightful as possible at home, no matter where you call home."

The move could be laying the groundwork for Caribou’s expansion.

Last month, Caribou and Einstein Bros. Bagels said they would join forces with fellow JAB Holdings-owned brand Panera Bread to form “a new powerhouse platform in fast-casual,” the company said, with plans to leverage Panera’s capabilities to grow the other two concepts.

Early last year, Panera launched a different type of coffee subscription, one in which customers pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited hot and cold coffee and tea beverages in its restaurants. The program has proven successful for Panera, with about a third of all subscribers attaching food to their orders and hundreds of thousands of paid subscriptions.

For its home-delivery subscriptions, Caribou is offering coffee beans ground to order, single-brew K-cup pods, ready-to-drink beverages such as cold brew coffee and Caribou Bousted, and a wide selection of teas.

Prices vary by product. A one-pound bag of light-roast Daybreak Blend is $12, for example, with flat-rate shipping to Chicago, plus taxes, adding an additional $6.23 to the subscription’s total price.

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