IT MAY look like a giant coffee cup discarded in Teletubbyland, but expect to see one next a motorway near you before too long.
easyCoffee — a company from the same stable as easyJet — is opening a chain of coffee outlets at roadside services where drivers can expect to get a cup of java for a third less than high street prices, and substantially less than the inflated cost of normal motorway fare.
In keeping with the modern business vogue for “disruption”, easyCoffee is taking aim at the premium coffee market in the way that easyJet targeted the aviation industry; by undercutting prices.
Among the first outlets is a drive-thru due to open at an undisclosed location close on the M25.
According to Nathan Lowry, easyCoffee’s CEO, prices will start at £1 for an espresso, up to £1.95 for a 16oz latte — a hefty discount compared to established chains like Starbucks, Caffè Nero and Costa Coffee.
The group last month signed deals to open 100 outlets throughout the UK, including roadside outlets similar to the one in the CGI pictures, as well as more traditional shops in high streets, shopping malls and airports.
The coffee cups will be refillable, washable, microwavable and recyclable
As well as being cheaper than most rivals, the coffee will be sold in cup that is refillable, washable and microwavable, and, when thrown away, fully recyclable.
“What we’re about to announce is a partnership with a group that produces a polypropylene fully recyclable cup,” said Lowry. “We’re calling it a ‘day cup’ — you’ll be served it in the morning and it’s reusable [throughout the day] and fully recyclable. We’ll be the first to roll it out to all of our shops.”
He added: “We’re aiming to create a part of the market which sits above the likes of Greggs, who do a very good coffee but with no ‘coffee theatre’, and pitching at price point below a Costa and Nero, who are £2.65 [a cup], at least.
“We’re serving a great Arabica blend coffee and we know from the numbers coming into our [eight trial] shops now that people are voting with their feet.”
The eight existing easyCoffee outlets are spread between Hastings and Edinburgh, including two in London. The company is aiming for a total of 200 outlets within three years.
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