While Burger King and Subway have embraced the Seattle’s Best coffee brand to boost their breakfast business, Jack in the Box is looking farther west, to Hawaii. The chain this week continues the improvement of its breakfast menu by rolling out new Kona Classic coffee to accompany the Grilled Breakfast Sandwich introduced earlier this month.
Asked during its February earnings call about Burger King and others improving their coffee platforms, Jack in the Box Chairman-CEO Linda Lang responded, “We’re also working on our coffee program, so more news on that later.” Kona Classic coffee, offered both iced ($1.99 for 24 oz.) and brewed ($1.39 and $1.59), is that news. And it’s important because New York-based Packaged Facts estimates the value of the U.S. coffee market at $48 billion in 2009, with foodservice accounting for 87% of those sales.
Jack is a latecomer to the “better, bolder coffee” party. McDonald’s introduced its Premium Roast Coffee in 2006, adding its McCafé specialty-coffee concept nationally a year ago. Burger King recently announced it was ditching its BK Joe coffee in favor of the Seattle’s Best brand, which will be on its menu in June, beginning with a Mocha Iced Coffee and other varieties. Subway‘s new breakfast program also features Seattle’s Best. Sonic’s Premium Roast coffee was added in 2008 while Hardee’s launched its new Colombian Blend coffee last November with little fanfare. Wendy’s Premium Blend coffee is offered in conjunction with its three-market breakfast-menu test.
Most other QSRs are focusing on cold-coffee drinks as the weather improves. Starbucks reportedly has introduced an upgrade of its signature Frappuccino drinks. Dunkin’ Donuts this month unveiled an Iced Dunkin’ Dark Roast. McDonald’s McCafé will expand its menu of iced coffee drinks this summer and add smoothies nationally. A sampling promotion for frappes was conducted at McDonald’s units last week.
Ironically, the Kona Classic coffee is not available at the 25 Jack in the Box restaurants in Hawaii.