News Column

Coinstar Turns to Coffee With Seattle's Best Kiosks

June 8, 2012

Mary Ellen Podmolik

Coinstar Inc., whose self-service kiosks count money and rent DVDs and videogames, is adding a jolt of caffeine to its product mix.

Coinstar will begin rolling out kiosks, called Rubi, in grocery and drugstores and mass merchandisers this summer that offer coffee by Seattle's Best Coffee, part of Starbucks Corp.

The kiosks will grind and brew whole beans, on demand, into a single cup of coffee as well as specialty drinks like mochas and vanilla lattes. Prices will start at $1.

However, Chicago is not one of the first markets for the bright red kiosks. Initially, the machines will be installed in the Northeast and on the West Coast, which has the highest demand for coffee on-the-go. Rubi's presence is expected to grow to 500 machines by year's end and ultimately, the company said it expects "thousands" of kiosks to be installed in the next several years.

"We believe our coffee kiosk re-imagines the coffee experience for consumers," said Paul Davis, Coinstar's CEO.

Source: (c) 2012 the Chicago Tribune

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