Archive for the ‘Food & Beverage’ Category

It’s not coincidental I’m posting this today, March 23, when there are two major nationwide giveaways. Of course, free is good for us customers. But getting customers in once when you are giving something away for free is one thing…getting them to come back and pay for it next time is another.

So first, to the free offers. Starbucks is hosting free pastry day at its US and Canada stores. Download the coupon to receive a free pastry until 10:30 a.m. with the purchase of a “handcrafted” beverage. They’re also using the event to promote the other ways in which their pastries are “free” – that would be, free of artificial ingredients.

Ben & Jerry’s is hosting their annual free cone day. Anyone can come in and get a free cone between noon and 8:00 p.m. No coupon or purchase is required (though you can probably guarantee you’ll have to wait in line!). Ben & Jerry’s has been doing this for years – as a thank you to their customers.

The intent is clear – besides the good PR, they’re hoping you’ll like it so much that you’ll come back to pay for more. (more…)


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By the press coverage in New York and elsewhere 3 weeks ago, you might have thought the Canadian Mounties were about to try and take over New York City. Of course, our friendly northern neighbors wouldn’t try something like that. We’re only talking here about a doughnut and coffee shop that happens to be Canada’s largest quick service restaurant (QSR) chain, Tim Hortons. They have about 3,000 Canadian locations, and an almost fanatical brand following by many Canadians.

TimHortons_Logo NYCThe company, which according to this press release, serves seven out of every 10 cups of coffee sold in QSRs in Canada, opened 12 stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn on July 13th. The press it got was quite something, including an article in BusinessWeek and several in The New York Times like this one, announcing the openings. Further articles described the openings, and comparisons between Tim Horton’s and Dunkin Donuts offerings, but mostly focused on the donuts. Taste tests were done by The New York Daily News, and on several local blogs, including Urbanite, The Feed and Diner’s Journal. It even made it to the New York Times’ Week in Review section.

Timmies (as Canadians affectionately refer to the brand) even got in the heat of competition before the openings, as the brand’s first dozen locations were Dunkin locations only 3 days earlier. (more…)

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There’s always been a fight over who makes the best premium ice cream — is it Ben & Jerry’s, or Haagen Dazs?

If we’re going by carton size, there’s now a clear winner. Over the past few weeks, Haagen Dazs had been reducing the size of its cartons from 16 ounces (a pint) to 14 ounces, while leaving the prices the same. If, for some reason, consumers didn’t notice this themselves, Ben & Jerry’s wanted to make sure they did. So last week, in an edition of its Chunkmail newsletter, and on a special page on its Web site, it let everyone know that “A pint’s not a pint, unless it’s a pint.”

The company didn’t name names, but did say a competitor with a “funny sounding European name” had downsized their pints. It also reminded customers that “your Ben & Jerry’s will still be standing tall in the freezer.” (more…)

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