Starbucks apes Costa with self serve machines

Starbucks is to launch a self serve coffee proposition that will see it open vending machines in supermarkets under the Starbucks On The Go brand.

Starbucks apes Costa with self serve

The first four machines will be trialled at Sainsbury’s petrol station forecourts next month.

It will be the first time that Starbucks has ever branched out into self serve coffee machines.

Rival Costa launched Costa Express, its on the go vending service, a year ago after it acquired the Coffee Nation self serve business. It currently operates more than 2,000 Express vending machines and plans to open around 3,000 by 2017.

Costa recently partnered with Team GB Gold Medalist Ed Clancy’s cycling team Rapha Condor Sharp to sponsor the Tour of Britain, which started yesterday (9 September) in a bid to raise awareness of the brand.

Starbucks has not outlined the potential scale of its On The Go proposition but claims that it will “set a new quality standard” for self serve coffee.

It will serve a selection of 280 possible drinks, made to order using 100% Fairtrade coffee beans and fresh milk.

On The Go has been in development for a year and the coffee chain claims the vending coffee provides the same quality and taste as its stores.

Kris Engskov, UK managing of Starbucks, says the multimillion pound investment is part of Starbucks’ strategy in the UK to provide “the highest quality coffee wherever customers are” to drive growth.

It is also investing in drive-thru stores, airports and roadside sites and plans to open 200 further drive thrus in the UK by 2016, including 16 by the end of this year.