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DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc., seller of at least a million cups of coffee a day, is launching a multimillion-dollar "freshness guaranteed" advertising blitz this month. With taglines like "Our coffee's fresher than your average Joe" and "Guaranteed fresh or we'll brew it new," 7-Eleven wants to educate coffee drinkers about its commitment to quality.
The new 7-Eleven campaign includes radio advertising, billboards, messages on the side of buses and posters at Long Island Railroad stations, according to a company statement. Signs inside and outside of the more than 5,500 U.S. 7-Eleven stores will let customers know they can ask a 7-Eleven employee to brew a fresh pot on the spot. Local promotions also will be a part of the marketing mix, the retailer reported.
"We want to communicate quality along with convenience," said Kerry Burson, 7-Eleven's senior director of beverages. "7-Eleven and convenience are synonymous, but not everyone may know that each time we brew a pot of our top-selling coffees, we first grind beans just for those pots. Not all major coffee retailers can claim that."
7-Eleven has been grinding coffee beans in its stores since the mid-1980s. Packages of 100-percent Arabica whole beans are delivered to the stores, where they are ground fresh just before being brewed, one pot at a time (in some 60 California 7-Eleven stores, coffee is made in larger urns), the company noted. The chain's most popular flavors are Exclusive Blend and Dark Mountain Roast for the majority of 7-Eleven stores, and the Exclusive Blend and Colombian varieties for its stores in the upper Midwest.
Coffee is the retailer's No. 1-selling proprietary beverage, and more than half of customers purchase a beverage when they visit the stores. "We're selling more than a convenient cup of coffee," Burson said. "We offer quality, fresh-ground, fresh-brewed coffee for people on the go. Our customers want a great-tasting cup of coffee, fast and at a good value. Ounce for ounce, 7-Eleven offers one of the best coffee deals around."
7-Eleven coffee prices range from a little over $1 for a 12-ounce cup to $1.49 for 24 ounces. Customers can customize their coffee and other hot beverages to suit their likes, adding as many flavored creamers, syrups, spices and condiments as they wish -- at no extra charge. The per-cup price is the same no matter which hot beverage is chosen.
Burson added, "And, when you think about it, the smallest cup at 7-Eleven, a 12-ounce size, averages about 9 cents an ounce. 7-Eleven's 24-ounce size cup costs only 7 cents per ounce -- complete with any and all coffee condiments. This is still a hard-to-beat value, especially as a tougher economy causes consumers to carefully consider where to spend their money."
7-Eleven also is continuing the sales momentum of its January Supreme Breakfast Bite and coffee "meal deal" offer with additional radio advertising. The company said it will create a separate radio spot for February promoting the new sausage, egg, cheese, peppers and onions roller grill product along with any size cup of coffee for just $1.99.
Based in Dallas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 7,300 7-Eleven stores in North America. Globally, the company operates, franchises or licenses close to 34,000 convenience stores in 17 countries. During 2007, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of more than $46.6 billion.