NATSO Teams Up With Caribou Coffee

Qualifying travel plazas, truckstops to sell chain's craft-roasted coffee

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- NATSO said that it has partnered with Caribou Coffee Co. Inc. to offer high-quality craft-roasted coffee to the selected NATSO-represented truckstops and travel plazas throughout the United States.

"Our mission at NATSO is to advance the success of our truckstop and travel plaza members," said Lisa Mullings, president and CEO of NATSO. "By offering a premium product that appeals to the general driving public as well as the truck-driving community, we believe this strategic alliance with Caribou Coffee advances that mission."

Minneapolis-based Caribou [image-nocss] Coffee is the nation's second-largest coffeehouse chain, with more than 400 company-owned coffeehouses and more than 130 franchised and licensed locations.

"The coffee consumer across the country has changed in character over the last several years," said Hank Suerth, senior vice president of commercial businesses at Caribou Coffee. "From restaurants to high-end cafes, the consumer prefers a specialty coffee. For truckstops and travel plazas looking to enhance existing programs, or change their branding message, the Caribou brand offers a total coffee solution and branding opportunity that may not exist with every travel center in the marketplace today."

NATSO and Caribou Coffee will be holding information sessions during the NATSO annual meeting from February 17-21. These focus groups will give truckstop and travel plaza owners and operators the opportunity to ask any questions and learn more about this new alliance.

Caribou Coffee offers its customers premium coffee and handcrafted espresso-based beverages, as well as specialty teas, baked goods, handcrafted oatmeal, a variety of Daybreaker and mini breakfast sandwiches, whole-bean coffee, branded merchandise and other coffee lifestyle items. In addition, Caribou Coffee sells products to grocery stores, mass merchandisers, club stores, foodservice providers, hotels, entertainment venues and e-commerce channels. Caribou Coffee is working toward 100% Rainforest Alliance Certification for all of its coffees by the end of 2011, ensuring coffee is sourced using social, economic and environmentally sustainable practices.

Alexandria, Va.-based NATSO, founded in 1960 as the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, represents the industry on legislative and regulatory matters; serves as the official source of information on the diverse travel plaza and truckstop industry; provides education to its members; conducts an annual convention and trade show; and supports efforts to generally improve the business climate in which its members operate.