Industry News | November 10, 2009

Caribou Goes Legit With Its Chocolate

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Caribou Coffee reformulated all of its mochas and chocolate beverages using real, all-natural chocolate now available in white, milk, and dark chocolate.

Beginning November 12, guests can have their mochas, chocolate lattes, hot chocolates, specialty beverages, and cold beverages made with either white, milk, or dark Guittard chocolate at all Caribou Coffee locations nationwide. Caribou Coffee team members will steam real pieces of the premium chocolate into milk to make the handcrafted hot beverages such as mochas, chocolate lattes, and hot chocolates.

The reformulation marks a difference from other coffeehouse operators because almost all coffeehouses, including the major coffeehouse chains, use reconstituted chocolate syrup or processed powder to create their hot and cold chocolate beverages. The three premium chocolates, created exclusively for Caribou Coffee, are all-natural, kosher, and gluten-free, and none contain more than six ingredients.

“While other coffeehouses are focused on extending their product offerings into things like instant coffee, we’re increasing the quality of our most popular items to provide added value for our customers,” says Caribou Coffee CEO Mike Tattersfield. “Value is about more than price at Caribou Coffee—it’s about a delicious, premium product made correctly. All-natural, gourmet chocolate is one way we’re giving that to our customers.”

Guittard Chocolate Company is the oldest family-owned and operated chocolate company in the U.S. The company was established in the 1850s after founder Etienne Guittard left France for California, where the company remains today. Guittard is one of few chocolate companies still utilizing traditional French processing methods.

“Caribou Coffee and Guittard are the perfect partners for this project,” says Dan Hurdle, Caribou Coffee senior vice president of supply chain, product management, and real estate development. “Guittard has the same ideals and commitment to superior products as Caribou. The company created chocolates that pair perfectly with our espresso without overpowering the flavor nuances that our customers love.”

In addition to using the new chocolates in all stores, Caribou Coffee will offer tins of the drinking chocolate pieces in all three flavors at store locations and online. The 12-ounce tins, which sell for $9.99 each, include step-by-step instructions for hand-melting chocolate pieces into milk or soy milk to create mochas or hot chocolates at home.

To celebrate the launch of the new chocolate beverages, on November 27, known to retailers as “Black Friday,” each store will feature free samples of the new, exclusive chocolate in addition to buy-one-get-one mochas and hot chocolates.
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