Starbucks & Coinstar Unite To Sell Seattle’s Best Coffee In Kiosks

If you think Starbucks’ penetration into the world of coffee-selling is already at the saturation point, the company would kindly like to disagree with you. It has announced a deal with Coinstar to roll out thousands of automated kiosks that would sell $1 cups of Starbucks’ Seattle’s Best brand of coffee.

The kiosks, named Rubi, will be positioned in a lot of the same types of places you already see Coinstar’s Redbox DVD machines — drugstores, supermarkets, large retail stores — and will offer seven varieties of ground-to-order coffee, but only in one size cup.

Coinstar hopes to roll out 500 machines by the end of the year, with the dream goal of reaching 15,000 kiosks someday. Each kiosk is expected to sell at least 10,000 cups a year for an average of around 27 cups a day.

The companies said it’s looking into how to expand the size offerings of the Rubi kiosks. Iced coffee could also be a possibility for future iterations of the machine.

If anyone spots one of these Rubi machines (they are already being tested in a few locations), we’d love to have photos for our Flickr pool. Or you could shoot it and send it directly to the tipline via the Consumerist Tipster app for iPhone and Android.

Starbucks Signs Five-Year Deal with Coinstar for Seattle’s Best Kiosks []

Starbucks Unit in Coinstar Kiosk Deal [Bloomberg]


Edit Your Comment

  1. rmorin says:

    Yeah but it takes 10.9% of the coffee out of each cup.

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    So if I don’t like the Seattle’s Best coffee, can I pour the
    leftover coffee into a Coinstar machine and get my money back?

  3. frank64 says:

    I don’t like the overly roasted (burnt)coffee I would get from these, but if it is brewed fresh it might be a pretty good alternative to other options. $1, as long as the cups are 10-12oz would make it good deal too.

    • frank64 says:

      Meant these companies.

    • CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

      That is a funny comment.
      All coffee taste like burnt water unless you load it up with alot of creamer.

      • frank64 says:

        No, if you taste the difference between say Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks you will no what I am talking about. Many people look for lightly roasted coffees. Starbucks and Seattle’s Best roast them way more. Of course if you don’t like coffee it might be hard to tell. I take a little cream in my coffee, no sugar.

        Even Starbucks has started offering lighter roasted coffees, I still don’t think it is that light though.

    • gedster314 says:

      I have to agree with you on the flavor.

      I always thought Seattle’s best was a different company. Looks like I will have to continue brewing my own and taking a thermos.

  4. CrazyEyed says:

    Suprised the US doesn’t jump on the vending phenomenon that Japan is experiencing. With customer servicing becoming more deplorable each day, it can’t hurt. Redbox seems to have done it right. Why not duplicate their business model for other products or services?

    • Blueskylaw says:

      All cultures are different and what works in one country might not work in another.

      Deep fried crickets are popular in Africa and Cambodia yet I doubt they would be a big hit in the United States.

      • CrazyEyed says:

        I’m not saying we have to sell unconventional things in vending machines. Not saying we have to produce skat porn either like they produce in Japan. I’m simply saying sell some of the more convenience items we already consume in vending machines.

    • Liam Kinkaid says:

      Because, unlike Japan, we in the US don’t have a burning need for used schoolgirl panties that must be satisfied by the immediacy that a vending machine provides.

      We’re perfectly capable of waiting a few days for the eBay’d pair to arrive.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        Speak for yourself…I’m totally not going to trust PayPal to handle my transaction when it involves something as important as a pair of panties that a girl allegedly did something naughty in.

    • Quake 'n' Shake says:

      I thought this whole “How it’s done in Japan….” thing went away with the Lost Decade when everyone realized “Holy shit, I guess their model wasn’t all that and a bag of chips.”

    • CrazyEyed says:

      As we American’s are becoming more intolerable and self centered, I consider less interaction with those types of individuals a good thing. Especially if they are making something I consume.

    • 2 Replies says:

      There’s not as much demand for used panties in the US as there is in Japan.
      …though I HAVE seen vending machines in the mid-west selling night-crawlers….
      I guess we all just have our own flavor of weird. :-p

  5. Lightweight says:

    If the coffee is at all drinkable, I would definitely frequent such a machine.

  6. gman863 says:

    With the exception of a hospital, I haven’t seen coffee vending machines for almost two decades. I remember them from my college days; the stuff that came out of them tasted like it was recycled from the BP oil spill.

    That aside, Redbox and Starbucks need to be a bit careful where they put these things. About a third of the Randalls and Kroger stores in Houston (not to mention every Super Target) already have a Starbucks inside. By putting a $1 coffee machine outside the store, they’d be cannibalizing their own business.

    • frank64 says:

      Yeah, many Redbox’s are at McDonalds. They probably won’t be able to put the coffee machines there either.

    • frodolives35 says:

      But they came in poker cups. Will starbucks even come close to that? lol

  7. Mary says:

    We’ve actually had one in our grocery store for months now, I think back in October or so maybe? Since I don’t drink coffee, I’m only interested in the hot chocolate, which is more expensive so I haven’t tried it yet.

    But it does have a good variety of drinks for coffee drinkers. For a machine anyway.

  8. scoopjones says:

    I’ve often suspected that Starbucks would eventually become a vending machine. I guess having live employees is overrated when the accountants are in charge. Video rental stores did it, and I’m surprised that McDonalds hasn’t done it already.

  9. Press1forDialTone says:

    And you know what you get back now when you change all your change in a Coinstar
    machine. A prepaid card for Starbucks NOT money. Beware.

  10. frodolives35 says:

    I wonder if the buttons will be as confusing as the menu. How big would a button have to be to list tripple half caf expresso crapachino with foam and sprinkles.

  11. DudeIncognito says:

    Am I the only person who can go a day without coffee? I never really understood why it’s so popular or “necessary” to people.