Luckin Coffee Files for Bankruptcy

The Chinese company that was touted as the next great challenger to Starbucks filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection on February 5 in New York. It was a spectacular fall for a company that was last valued at $3.2B.

With over 4,500 storefronts across China, Luckin Coffee experienced exponential growth after having been founded in 2017. A misrepresentation of $300M in retail sales from its 2020 SEC filings led it to be delisted from the NYSE, its stock price falling over 82%. It was a reflection of the lack of confidence in the company and the ability to trust their financial figures.

After paying back a $180M fine for the discrepancy on their financial statements, the company was able to regain investor confidence as the stock price slowly increased. However, the news of their bankruptcy filing led to a mass selloff, of which it is uncertain if the company can recover.

The fall of Luckin Coffee bodes well for Starbucks, which could potentially acquire the company and their large footprint in China for peanuts. It would expand their reach in a lucrative and growing market. It also serves as a warning to investors to be wary of companies that might be too good to be true.

7-Eleven New Year’s promotion shows different side to coffee loyalty marketing

7-Eleven provided a caffeinated New Year to many of its customers by offering them coffee or bottled water for just 19 cents when signing up for their app and loyalty program, 7Rewards. It’s just what you think it is: You download their free smartphone app and then use that app to redeem an e-coupon. Thus, the company can prove to customers how easy it is to redeem rewards through their phone. Loyalty rewards have long been a marketing staple of the coffee industry, and these card-carrying loyalty programs are still widely in use today, but this recent 7-Eleven promotion shows just how far we’ve come.


Here’s what struck us about this news piece and 7-Eleven’s promotional marketing in general. It’s a strategy built on being able to leverage their consumers’ digital data into increased sales at a convenience store. This brand, built on convenience and travel-related concessions, has determined that the time has come to try get a critical mass of their consumers to download and interact with a mobile app platform.


We’re not trying to come off as nay-sayers–not at all. But it is an interesting development to consider just in terms of marketing strategy and customer experience. Do you think push notifications about e-coupons would facilitate your next visit to 7-Eleven? Would you be willing to provide your personal spending history and buying habits at this convenience store in exchange for a free coffee or water every once in a while? This is a bargain that most people now have a fair understanding of when it comes to FB, Google, and e-Commerce companies, but we now live in a world in which 7-Eleven wants to create this type of relationship with the customer.


Read the original article at People.

Trader Joe’s releases ready-to-drink cold brew in time for the dog days of summer

Trader Joe’s is known for producing and selling ready-to-consume products. Their frozen aisle is a popular place to browse easy dinner options, boasting everything from cauliflower “rice” and pre-made vegan stuffing to Eastern European Borek and bakery-quality macarons. However, the supermarket retailer has also made strides to improve its ready-made coffee selection. Trader Joe’s has long sold several different cold brew options, including cold brew coffee bags, nitro cold brew, flavored cold brews, a variety of cold brew concentrates, and single-serve cans of the stuff.


Trader Joe’s recent product announcement, however, eliminates all the prep work included in cold brew purchasing. All of their cold brew products require the customer to take some action—whether that means steeping the grounds overnight or adding water to dilute the concentrate. Their new product, Ready to Drink Cold Brew Coffee, requires no prep.


The product is made by steeping air-roasted Arabica beans in cold water for at least 12 hours. According to Trader Joe’s the coffee features hints of molasses, walnut, and cocoa. One bottle of this product contains multiple servings—just like Trader Joe’s cold brew concentrates. However, it contains significantly fewer servings. Most concentrate bottle hold 12 servings, while the Ready to Drink Cold Brew Coffee offers only three.


While this coffee drink offers fewer servings, the price point is significantly lower than most concentrates currently offered by Trader Joe’s. This addition to the supermarket’s coffee lineup is indicative of a larger cold brew trend. We are, however, quite interested in the release time of this drink. Cold brew is typically marketed as a summer drink, and while there are still several weeks left in the season, we can’t help but wonder if the retailer plans to market this product for autumn.

Read the original article at Refinery29.


This Dallas coffee shop aims to change the world

Australian native Russell Hayward’s love for coffee began when he was just 15 years old. As an adult, Hayward worked in advertising and in the music industry, which took him to the United States in 1991; he produced and promoted concerts, curating one of the biggest gatherings of guitarists in history for Guitar Player Magazine. He moved to Dallas in 2001 and, after noticing the nonexistent coffee scene, opened his own shop.


Ascension, Hayward’s shop, is the type of place you might visit for great conversation. There are no televisions and no tech distractions. “People want this community—this coffee shop occasion, as I call it,” Hayward explained, “but they want it to deliver something else.” To fill the gap in what coffee customers want and coffee shops deliver, he introduced a valid breakfast, a valid lunch, and a light dinner to his shop’s menu. After acquiring a liquor license, Ascension reached the status of “coffee shop occasion”—a place for customers to visit all day, every day, from 7am to 10pm.


This shop has a humanitarian purpose. Always interested in philanthropy, Hayward spent 1993 digging water wells in South Sudan. His primary charity work is through Water is Basic, a nonprofit that fights for clean water around the world. Shortly after making his own shop, he founded a project called the Ascension Foundation, which seeks to help farmers at every level, worldwide, achieve their goals.


Read the complete, original article at WFAA ABC News.

These best coffee gadgets can make your morning cup of joe even better

Eighty-three percent of American adults start their day with a cup of coffee. From Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks to Caribou and Pete’s Coffee, everyone has a preferred shop and a personal order. But these shops require us to leave the comfort of our homes—why not just brew a great cup at home? With the proper equipment and an experienced hand, you can brew a cup of coffee that rivals those of your favorite boutique shops. Here are a few products to help you out.


Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug—This gadget will keep your coffee warm for hours on end. Dubbed the “World’s Most Advanced Mug,” users can adjust the temperature of the drink, letting you choose whether you want it to stay piping hot, cool to a specific temperature, or roll right down to room temp.


Aeropress Coffee Maker—This lightweight and portable machine is the best way to enjoy a great cup on the go. If you spend a lot of time hiking, backpacking, on vacation, or just removed from any source of freshly-brewed coffee, this is the tool for you.


Nourish Glass Top Scale—Everyone knows the perfect cup of coffee requires precise measurements. Whether you’re making instant coffee or grinding your own beans, you’ll never mess up the coffee-to-water ratio again with this simple device.


Hario Skerton Hand Grinder—Brewing the coffee, when done correctly, requires the accumulation of several home-use tools. Sometimes, those prices can add up. This affordable coffee grinder will turn your beans into a pulp in just a few seconds. It’s not too bad to look at, either.


Read the complete, original article at Digital Trends.