A year and a half after Costa bought Coffee Nation, Starbucks has revealed plans to rollout thousands of coffee vending machines of its own - starting next week in four Sainsbury’s stores.
The ‘Starbucks On The Go’ machines represented a multimillion-pound opportunity for the company, claimed UK marketing VP Ian Cranna. “We want to have thousands across the UK giving customers the opportunity to get Starbucks coffee wherever they are,” he said.
“It is a response to a clear need. The most common thing I hear from customers is that they want a Starbucks closer by.”
The machines would prepare Starbucks-quality coffee in less than a minute and give customers 280 different drinks to choose from, he claimed.
The designers have also tried to make the machines more fun than the average vending machine, by giving them attractive graphics and a touchscreen interface that allows customers to play a game while waiting for their coffee.
Cranna said the vending machines followed on from the “tremendously successful” launch of Starbucks drive-thrus at Euro Garages in 2010.
Starbucks will begin installing its vending machines at locations such as petrol stations and other Sainsbury’s stores - where it has run cafés for 10 years - over the coming months.
Costa bought Coffee Nation for £59.5m last March and rebranded its 900 vending machines as Costa Express. It also announced plans to increase the number to 3,000 by 2013.