Starbucks tests Swiss office coffee concept
Starbucks is test marketing a new office coffee vending service — the first of its kind for the company in the world — in Saint Gallen, a city in north-eastern Switzerland.
Künzler Bachmann, a Swiss direct marketing and publishing company, has agreed to offer the service to its 80 employees, according to a report from the SonntagsBlick newspaper.
The US-based global coffee giant has teamed up with Selecta, Europe's biggest vending machine company, to provide its espressos, lattes and other products, including teas, for employees in the office under the pilot project.
“We are thrilled,” Künzler Bachmann board member Roland Meyer told SonntagsBlick.
The actual coffee and tea machines are produced by Swiss manufacturer Franke, offering 15 different coffee, tea and milk drinks.
Prices range from 1.80 francs for an espresso to 2.30 francs for a tall latte.
With more than 20,300 stores in 61 countries around the world, Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world.
It opened its first of 50 stores in Switzerland 10 years ago.
But one market it has yet to penetrate is the workplace, where estimates suggest one third of coffee is drunk.
Sonntagsblick says the annual market for office coffee in Switzerland amounts to three billion cups.
Other companies, such as Lyreco, an office supplies firm that also offers catering, are already providing Nespresso and other brands of coffee to workplaces in Switzerland.
“Good coffee in the workplace has become a very important means to motivate employees,” Erwin Fries of Lyreco told Sonntagsblick.
In August, Starbucks announced a plan to hook up with Selecta to provide companies with different kinds of coffee service.
The Starbucks Office Coffee partnership will offer three different types of service using small table vending machines, medium-sized stand-alone models and integrated “coffee corners”.
“We are always looking for unique ways and places to connect with our customers," Frank Wubben, Starbucks manager for Switzerland, said in a statement at the time.
“The collaboration with Selecta offers us great opportunities to improve the coffee experience in the workplace.”