BELLEVUE, WA -- Coinstar said it will begin rolling out Seattle's Best Coffee vending machines this summer, and expects to place about 500 of them by end of the year. Coinstar and Seattle's Best, a division of Starbucks Corp., announced their vending partnership and began testing the coffee machines earlier this year. | SEE STORY
Called Rubi, the coffee kiosk looks like a standard 6-ft. tall vending machine and will be located in grocery, drug and mass merchant retail channels -- locations that Coinstar already serves with its namesake coin-counting and Redbox DVD rental equipment.
The Rubi will feature Seattle's Best Coffee beverages with vend prices starting at $1. It grinds fresh whole beans for single cups of fresh brewed coffee and makes such specialty drinks as mocha and vanilla latte.
On the heels of the pilot program, Coinstar and Seattle's Best Coffee said they identified a coffee solution that fills an unmet consumer need within the $40 billion U.S. coffee market. In surveys conducted among consumers using the Rubi coffee kiosk while in test, the companies said, 90% of participants indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with the experience, and 60% said they would recommend the Rubi coffee kiosk to a friend or colleague.
This summer's Rubi rollout will start in Coinstar locations in the Northeast and on the West Coast. Coinstar said it plans to pursue "additional channels" with the Rubi.
Coinstar Inc. operates 36,800 DVD and 20,200 coin-counting machines. Seattle's Best Coffee LLC roasts more than 20 million pounds annually and is available in more than 50,000 locations.