Starbucks is well known for introducing American consumers to the joys of premium coffee–and the price tag that comes with it. Now, the coffee giant is upping its own ante, offering its special “Reserve” roasts on a monthly subscription basis.
For $288 a year, coffee aficionados will receive 12 shipments of the company’s rare, small-batch roasted coffees, according to Fortune. The new service not only builds on Starbucks’s existing coffee delivery program, it’s also a way to bring the chain’s exclusive tasting room experience to a mass audience.
If $288 sounds like a lot to spend on coffee, you’re probably not among the Starbucks fanatics the company is trying to target. Break it down and you’ll find that the price of a year’s subscription is equivalent to just $0.79 per day–a lot less than a hard-core fan is likely to spend. True, the beans come in only 8.8 oz. bags, but for the right coffee drinker, the Reserve subscription service could be a bargain.
It isn’t just Starbucks that’s trying to exploit the subscription model. Digital content services like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, of course, have been in the game for a while, but it’s starting to seem like you can subscribe to just about anything with the click of a button: beauty products, men’s underwear, condoms, you name it.
There’s no shortage of food-and-drink-related subscription services either, whether you want to cook up recipes with fresh, pre-packed ingredients or sit back and let the meals show up at your door. Starbucks isn’t the first to offer at-home coffee bean delivery, either. For $100 less per year, Seattle’s high-end Stumptown roastery will send you a 12 oz. bag every month (or at intervals of your choosing), with similar offerings available from brands like Counter Culture, Peet’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and a slew of coffee-focused startups.
Really, it’s a win-win for both coffee companies and consumers: The big players get a large audience on whom they can test new products, and coffee drinkers get, well, lots of coffee–for a price, of course.