Caribou Coffee(R) Raises the Bar With Real, All-Natural Chocolate Beverages

Gourmet coffeehouse takes handcrafted beverages to a new level with premium Guittard(R) chocolate

MINNEAPOLIS --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Caribou Coffee, the second-largest gourmet coffeehouse operator in the world, is the first of its kind to reformulate all of its mochas and chocolate beverages using real, all-natural chocolate now available in white, milk and dark chocolate.

Beginning Nov. 12, guests can have their mochas, chocolate lattes, hot chocolates, specialty beverages and cold beverages made with either white, milk or dark Guittard chocolate at all Caribou Coffee locations nationwide. Caribou Coffee team members will steam real pieces of the premium chocolate into milk to make the handcrafted hot beverages such as mochas, chocolate lattes and hot chocolates.

This reformulation marks a major difference from other coffeehouse operators because almost all coffeehouses, including the major coffeehouse chains, use reconstituted chocolate syrup or processed powder to create their hot and cold chocolate beverages. The three premium chocolates, created exclusively for Caribou Coffee, are all-natural, kosher and gluten-free, and none contain more than six ingredients.

"While other coffeehouses are focused on extending their product offerings into things like instant coffee, we're increasing the quality of our most popular items to provide added value for our customers," said Caribou Coffee CEO Mike Tattersfield. "Value is about more than price at Caribou Coffee — it's about a delicious, premium product made correctly. All-natural, gourmet chocolate is one way we're giving that to our customers."

The best chocolate for the best coffee

Guittard Chocolate Company is the oldest family-owned and -operated chocolate company in the United States. The company was established in the 1850s after founder Etienne Guittard embarked on an arduous journey from France to California, where the company remains today. Since then, Guittard has become one of the world's most respected purveyors of premium chocolate, largely because it is one of few chocolate companies still utilizing traditional French processing methods.

"Caribou Coffee and Guittard are the perfect partners for this project," said Dan Hurdle, Caribou Coffee senior vice president of supply chain, product management and real estate development. "Guittard has the same ideals and commitment to superior products as Caribou. The company created chocolates that pair perfectly with our espresso without overpowering the flavor nuances that our customers love."

In addition to using the new chocolates in all stores, Caribou Coffee will offer tins of the drinking chocolate pieces in all three flavors at store locations and on cariboucoffee.com. The 12-oz. tins, which sell for $9.99 each, include step-by-step instructions for hand-melting chocolate pieces into milk or soy milk to create mochas or hot chocolates at home.

To celebrate the launch of the new chocolate beverages, on Friday, Nov. 27, known to retailers as "Black Friday," each store will feature free samples of the new, exclusive chocolate in addition to buy-one-get-one mochas and hot chocolates.

About Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee (CBOU), founded in 1992, is the second-largest company-owned gourmet coffeehouse operator in the world, based on number of coffeehouses. At Caribou Coffee, our mission statement is "an experience that makes the day better." We provide this by sourcing the highest-quality coffee in the world and craft roasting it in small batches to bring out the best in every bean. We then bring this extraordinary coffee to our customers via several channels including grocery locations, online or our coffeehouses, which provide a relaxing escape for our customers. Caribou Coffee is committed to expanding our business by bringing this experience to new customers through multiple means without compromising our unwavering commitment to quality. Caribou Coffee is a proud recipient of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAAs) 2008 Roasters Choice Tasting Competition Gold Award.

Source: Caribou Coffee

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