Shell’s forecourt convenience stores have signalled their long-term commitment to Costa Express by renewing their relationship with the on-the-go coffee brand for a further five years.
Shell has installed 740 Costa Express coffee vending machines – or what Costa Express calls “self-serve coffee bars” – in 536 of its 1,000-plus branded service stations in the UK.
The two brands also have partnerships in Canada, Poland and the Czech Republic and trials are taking place in other overseas markets.
Mike Hominick, marketing manager at Shell UK Retail, said coffee was one of the most popular items sold on its forecourts and the relationship between Costa and Shell had already grown the group’s sales to more than 18 million cups a year.
“Serving Costa coffee is one of the ways we are expanding the role of our service stations in the lives of customers, offering great quality fresh food and coffee to customers who live their lives on the move,” Hominick said.
Shell and Costa’s relationship began in 2011, shortly after Costa owner Whitbread bought Coffee Nation for £59.5m and rebranded 900 Coffee Nation machines as Costa Expresses.
Costa Express has grown to more than 6,000 machines in nine international markets – expanding at a rate of more than 70 coffee bars every month.
It is in about 3,000 UK petrol forecourts and about 1,600 convenience stores.
Costa Express managing director Murray McGowan said Shell was one of Costa Express’s first partners.
“The Costa Express brand perfectly complements the Shell forecourt model, supporting the brand in providing its customers with a high quality and consistent offering and the best coffee on the go,” he said.
Costa Express claims leadership of self-serve coffee bars in the UK. The number of machines have grown from 877 in 2011 to more than 6,000.
“The strength of the Costa brand combined with the convenience of the self-serve format has proved a winning combination with the machines easily accessed in a variety of locations including forecourts, convenience stores and workplaces,” a Costa spokeswoman said.