Circle K Puts Its Coffee to the Test With Consumers

Nationwide giveaway seeks to convert skeptics into c-store coffee believers.
Circle K logo

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Circle K is taking another big step toward smashing common perceptions of convenience store coffee.

Following a blind tasting of its in-store coffee that left coffee fans shocked to learn they had been drinking Circle K java, the brand is offering free coffee nationwide on Jan. 25. Customers can pick up one free cup of coffee in any size at participating locations. The goal is to convert c-store coffee skeptics to Circle K coffee believers, according to the retailer.

Circle K serves more than 120 million cups of coffee across the United States annually.

It recently invested in the installation of bean-to-cup, self-serve, barista-quality coffee machines in its 7,000-plus U.S. stores and is filling them up with 100 percent sustainably sourced premium coffee beans.

To highlight the quality of its coffee and challenge misconceptions, Circle K previously conducted a social experiment that put its coffee to the test without the bias of the "convenience store coffee" tag coloring guest perceptions. The brand created a "Kafe" branded coffee truck in the style of those typically associated with artisan, barista-style coffee vendors and served it to unsuspecting passers-by. The coffee lovers were asked for their taste and quality impressions before the Circle K logo was revealed.

"At Circle K we're really proud of the coffee we offer our customers and believe it stacks up against the world's best cups of coffee. So proud, in fact, that we're giving it away for free for everyone to give it a try," said David Hall, vice president of global foodservice at Circle K. "We imagine after trying our coffee, you will love it as much as we do."

Coffee fans who want more but also want to save can take advantage of the Circle K Sip & Save monthly beverage subscription, which gets them one preferred beverage every day for $5.99 per month.

Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., parent company to the Circle K brand, operates in 24 countries and territories, with nearly 14,300 stores, of which approximately 10,900 offer road transportation fuel. It is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States, as well as in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics and Ireland.