More Breakfast Pricing Buzz
Photo: L. Kerr
The breakfast buzz continues, with the latest excitement brought to us by Caribou Coffee. The bou's new line of breakfast sandwiches is making a splash, complete with nifty toaster-oven-like bus shelters to promote the offerings. Intellaprice studies breakfast prices frequently, so it's interesting to see how Caribou's offerings stack up, especially since most recent announcements have been at the burger/sandwich end of the QSR spectrum.
As Bret Thorn reported in Nation's Restaurant News, the sandwiches cost $3 for regular size and $2 for mini. And an introductory deal includes a sandwich and a coffee for $4.
Here are some relevant pricing facts and figures to keep in mind as Caribou jumps into the breakfast fray:
- Caribou Coffee's prices have typically been in line with those at Starbucks, though Caribou CMO Alfredo Martel has spoken on the differences between the two brands, as he did at the most recent NRA MEG (Marketing Executives Group) Study Group.
- Starbucks' breakfast sandwich offerings include artisan roll or english muffin varieties with and without meat, priced at $2.95 or $3.25.
- Starbucks' pairings, which included a bakery item and coffee, are priced at $3.95.
- Caribou's introductory combo is discounted 23% off of the would-be $5.15 charge a sandwich and medium coffee would command at regular prices.
- Caribou's coffee prices are slightly higher than those at Starbucks. Starbucks has most recently employed a more value-oriented positioning at $1.50, $1.85, and $2.10 for its tall, grande and venti sizes, respectively. Our research shows ranges for Caribou as follows: small $1.69 to $1.85, medium $1.99 to $2.15, large $2.09 to $2.25
What about a comparison to the burger and sandwich chains? There's much more variation among these brands, and understandably so given the higher proportion of franchised stores at QSR burger and sandwich brands vs. at Caribou and Starbucks.
- Subway plays at the low end of the price spectrum, with sandwiches as low as $2.50 a la carte or $3.25 with a beverage.
- McDonald's shows quite a bit of variation. While its bagel sandwiches are typically priced in the $2.49 to $2.59 range, they are higher in some regions, presumably based on competitive dynamics or cost of living. McDonald's combos are commonly priced at $3.79, less than both Caribou and Starbucks, and they come with a hash brown in addition to coffee.
Breakfast continues to garner attention from consumers and restaurant concepts alike, and we will continue to follow the developments as we have in the past. For now, I'll just say, welcome to the party, Caribou! If you could only put some of those bus shelters in Boston, we'd appreciate it.
To learn more about Intellaprice's breakfast pricing studies, click here.