House brands are nice; national brands are better. That’s what Burger King apparently decided in throwing its home-grown BK Joe coffee brand under the bus in order to take up with Starbucks-owned Seattle’s Best Coffee as it battles for a larger share of breakfast sales.
In announcing an agreement, Burger King says it hopes to have Seattle’s Best Coffee in all 7,250 of its U.S. stores by this September. Prices range from $1 (for the $1 breakfast menu) to $2.79; the new coffee will be sold iced and hot. “The addition of Seattle’s Best Coffee expands on our Have It Your Way brand promise by offering our guests even more beverage options and strengthens our ability to remain competitive in a continuously changing industry,” John Schaufelberger, BK SVP-global product marketing and innovation, said in a statement announcing the deal.
BK Joe was introduced in October 2005 (see commercial at left) and positioned as a working-man’s coffee available in turbo (40% more caffeine) strength as well as regular. That followed McDonald’s introduction earlier in 2005 of its Premium Roast coffee. Starbucks acquired Seattle’s Best parent Seattle Coffee Co. in 2003 from AFC Enterprises, owner of the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen chain (and, at that time, Churchs Fried Chicken).