Burger King has launched a coffee platform with 10 new drinks, including lattes and flavored hot or iced beverages.
The launch is the first time lattes will be sold at Burger King locations, said Eric Hirschhorn, vice president of global innovation at Miami-based Burger King Worldwide Inc., in an email.
Consumer trends and guests’ desire for specialty coffee drinks spurred the development of the new products, according to Hirschhorn. “We believe in listening to our guests…and have spent the past months evaluating our plans for the BK menu based on their feedback,” he wrote in an email. “Extensive testing has resulted in a milder, smooth roasted proprietary custom blend that BK guests find to be on par with our competitors.”
He added, “Continuing to innovate and improve the Burger King brand’s coffee and beverage platforms are among our top priorities for the year.”
New menu items include two new coffees: the Smooth Roast Coffee made from a 100-percent Latin American Arabica blend and a Smooth Roast Iced Coffee. The iced version is available in four flavors: regular, vanilla, mocha and caramel. The suggested retail price for a cup of Smooth Roast Coffee is $1, while the Smooth Roast Iced Coffee is recommended to sell at $1.49.
The new flavors were the result of a joint effort with Seattle’s Best Coffee, Hirschhorn said. The coffees were tested in several markets and are proprietary to Burger King.
The lattes are rolling out systemwide and will be available at participating locations in March, Hirschhorn said. They will be available in vanilla, plain, mocha and caramel flavors in both regular and nonfat varieties, for a suggested price of $2.29.
In addition to these coffee introductions, Burger King also serves coffee frappes, introduced in April.
Burger King competitor McDonald’s launched its McCafé beverage line — which includes coffees and hot chocolates — in 2009. In 2011, McDonald’s said beverages accounted for 20 percent of sales at McDonald’s USA.
In 2010, Burger King dropped its BK Joe program and partnered with Seattle’s Best Coffee. BK Joe, which launched in 2007, was an earlier coffee upgrade at the chain.
Burger King has more than 12,600 locations systemwide, 95 percent of which are franchised.