Sunday, August 24, 2014

Coming to a college campus near you: the Starbucks coffee truck

"Am I crazy, or is that Starbucks truck following me?" might be something overheard on college campuses soon.

College campuses might be among the few remaining places to escape the shadow of Starbucks. There are roughly 11,500 Starbucks outlets in the U.S., but only about 300 of them are on U.S. campuses. That means most students of the country’s 4,700 colleges are buying their coffee somewhere else.

As Venessa Wong writes in Bloomberg Business Week – that is about to change at three schools. Starbucks will peddle caffeine from food trucks at Arizona State University, James Madison University and Coastal Carolina University.

Why trucks? Starbucks says the trucks can travel around with students throughout the day, literally following them to meet their caffeine needs wherever they pop up, according to a Starbucks spokeswoman. Presumably that means parking outside dorms in the morning and by the quad in the afternoon.

The trucks, operated by food service company Aramark, will help Starbucks reach a coveted demographic and continue their quest for total brand domination. College-age students love coffee. More young adults are “turning to coffee, rather than caffeinated sodas, as their pick-me-up of choice,” reported NPR. Not just any coffee—they want the fancy stuff. 

Just an aside here – does anybody remember when coffee was THE pick-me-up of choice, before the Diet Coke craze, and way before the “energy drink” phase? Admittedly, it was in our college days when many of us began our special relationship with "the bean."

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