KFC Introduces Something You Never Thought You Needed: Edible Coffee Cups

In an attempt to jump on the bean wagon, Kentucky Fried Chicken is introducing an Arabica-based coffee blend. And they’ve got a nifty way of promoting it!

edible cup

The edible coffee cup is part biscuit, part sugar paper (what’s that?) and part delicious white chocolate. It will be scented with various aromas such as sunscreen or fresh cut grass to evoke positive summer memories in customers. The cup will be available in KFC restaurants in the U.K. this summer.

As weird as you may find the concept, there are benefits to a cookie, grass smelling cup. The warm coffee melts the chocolate lining as you drink, so you’re coffee becomes sweeter and the cookie softens. Also, an edible cup means zero waste. With millions of disposable cups tossed into landfills each year, and coffee cup production causing harmful CO2 emissions, a little waste reduction doesn’t hurt.

From a promotional side, I don’t quite “get” the idea of my cup smelling like grass…or sunblock…or wildflowers. But I admit it will have some fast foodies keen to give it a try.

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Ventis and Vinos – Starbucks Introducing a Little Happy Hour

Happy Hour starts at 4!

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In a pilot project launching this year, coffee giant Starbucks will be serving beer and wine at select Canadian locations. The project is titled “Starbucks Evenings” and has already been introduced by the company to American coffee shops. The “Evenings” menu also offers h’orderve style pairings with your beverage such as chicken skewers and bacon-wrapped dates.

The Evenings project is a great way to boost sales during low traffic hours. Typically a location will receive 70% of it’s daily business before 2 pm. Alcohol adds to Starbucks expanding selection of products (baked goods, sandwiches, iTunes cards). Starbucks7The company has been working hard to position itself as more than just a morning stop for a cup of joe, and is becoming a multi-service store. In the past few years, the dominating coffee company has been battling fast food chains who are competing with their own coffees. McCafe – McDonald’s successful bean brand is sneaking in as a close second to Starbs.

The US stores providing the Evenings menu have seen substantial success and experts are not worried about failure here in Canada. But some Canadian consumers have concerns. Based on online commentaries, some people don’t feel booze melds with the Starbucks atmosphere. Won’t customers who’ve had “one too many” disrupt the cafe vibe? Or even the boozy smell could off-put those expecting the rich coffee aroma we are used to. Others fear baristas aren’t equipped to be discerning IDers, or are uncomfortable with alcohol being more readily available and “to-go”.

The locations for the pilot project will be confirmed later this month, but they will most likely be based in major city centres such as Toronto. The company alludes that the project will be popular among their main target, women, who will prefer goat cheese flatbread and a glass of wine in a cozy coffee shop over the bar.

wine-tasting-tips-650x406I am trying to be unbiased, but as a twenty something who loves goat cheese and who could take or leave the bar scene, it sounds like my cup of…coffee.

IMC lessons with Taylor Swift: How to sell an album when album sales are dead

Music maven Taylor Swift has branched away from country superstardom and broke records with her pure pop debut album, 1989. taylor-swift-victorias-secret-vs-fashion-show-runway-performance-photos-111313-22
In a time when rock groups are force-feeding iPhone users their new releases (U2), Tswizzle has managed to sell a record 1.287 million copies of 1989 in it’s first week when no other album has even broken the one million mark this year!

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A personal photo from Taylor’s Instagram

Swift is stealth at her marketing. She’s a ubiquitous face popping up on The Voice as a mentor and posting polaroids on Instagram with crafty hashtags promoting her love of New York and making single releases monumental social media events. taylor-swift-and-fans-1396861133-view-0She is not only a likeable presence, but she has maintained a constant appreciation for her fans that is undying. She responds personally to fans tweets despite her 46 million follower base. She’s even delved into the more complex social media site Tumblr, a community of microblogging and image sharing. This can be a tricky platform as it takes an understanding of the concept of the site and is also highly personal. One can not simply “promote” or “push” on Tumblr, but rather sell themselves, their thoughts and feelings straight from the soul. There’s also a lot of cats on Tumblr. This personal approach is a selling point that works exceptionally well for Tswift.

The songstress tweets that the last time an album platinumed in a mere week, it was 2002 and she was 12. That album being rapping legend Eminem’s The Eminem Show, a stark contrast from the synth pop and perky dance jams of 1989. The most astonishing phenomenon of all is that Taylor managed to convince fans to buy physical CDs. Yes, CDs!  That wouldn’t be unheard of in 2002, but now it’s nearly a foreign concept for young target markets.

Key take aways from Miss Swift?

  • Have media presence
  • Have a personal relationship with fans no matter how massive the club is
  • Always attempt and embrace different media platforms
  • Like cats/have a cat