Okay, here's what's happening in the coffee arena: it is bifurcating. Caffeine yuppieism can no longer be faked. As the high end coffee shops push prices into the stratosphere, Starbucks is—we regret to inform you—getting even more hobo.
Of course the end of Starbucks began when it decided that McDonald's was its top competitor, rather than, I don't know, Balthazar. We thought that the absolute bottom had been reached when Sbux announced that it would water its brand down to the consistency of lower-economic-class urine by selling its "Seattle's Best (*snort*)" brand in Burger Kings. But new details from the WSJ about this brand erosion make Starbucks' middlebrow future almost too horrifying to contemplate:
Eventually, Starbucks said, the brand will also be sold in convenience stores, drive-through kiosks, coffee carts, vending machines and mobile trucks. The company has already reached deals to sell Seattle's Best at Burger King and Subway restaurants and at AMC Entertainment Inc. movie theaters.
The knockoff brand's plainly offensive and false slogan: "Great Coffee Everywhere." One Starbucks executive "likened the Seattle's Best venture to Old Navy, the Gap Inc. discount chain." If every uncouth truck-driver has his onion ring-thickened meaty paws wrapped around a Starbucks-affiliated product to enhance the crystal meth he smoked for breakfast, Starbucks has truly has taken its niche evil to an entirely new and more alarming level.
[WSJ. Pic via]