Java, Hold the Barista

7-Eleven gearing up for National Coffee Day on Sept. 29 with survey, Dip-a-Drip, free cup

DALLAS -- More than half of respondents said that making a cup of coffee to match their taste preferences is the most important factor in preparation, according to a coffee survey conducted for 7-Eleven Inc. earlier this month by Opinion Research Corp. (ORC).

The survey also reported that three of four respondents said they prefer to fix their own coffee rather than have a barista, foodservice employee or machine prepare their cup of coffee. That same number said drinking their cup of coffee is a part of their daily routine and that they always have their coffee fixed the same way.

The survey is part of 7-Eleven Inc. gearing up at its U.S. and Canadian stores to celebrate National Coffee Day on September 29, dubbing its celebration "CofFREE Day."

From 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. this Thursday, participating 7-Eleven stores will give away free medium-size cups of fresh-brewed, hot coffee. The giveaway includes 7-Eleven's Exclusive Blend, Sumatra coffees and even specialty drinks like Spiced Pumpkin Latte and French Vanilla Cappuccino.

Leading up to the four-hour CofFREE break, 7-Eleven has invited its Facebook fans to participate in Dip-a-Drip, which allows 7-Eleven fans to launch a ball that dips a "drip" (an obnoxious person) into a giant 7-Eleven coffee cup at a live event to be held September 28 at Union Station in Washington, D.C.

Visitors to 7-Eleven's Facebook page,, were invited to vote on who they thought was the most obnoxious stereotype--the Headset-Talker, Know-It-All, Snooty Barista, Over-Sharer and Horrible Boss.

The contest will culminate with that "drip" being dunked in a giant pseudo-coffee cup set up at Union Station. Participants can take a shot at dunking the target, both in real life outside Union Station and virtually.

Dip a Drip will be streamed live on 7-Eleven's Facebook page. Each successful dunker will receive a $25 7-Eleven gift card.

"Coffee is one of 7-Eleven's top-selling products," said Nancy Smith, 7-Eleven's marketing vice president. "Just like with our Slurpee fans, we have an extremely loyal coffee following. We want to thank our coffee customers for their patronage and have some fun both online and in our stores."

She added, "National Coffee Day is an opportunity to showcase 7-Eleven's long history in providing coffee on the go. In fact, 7-Eleven was the first retailer to offer coffee in to-go cups back in 1964 on Long Island. Our coffee bars have become store hot spots with about a million coffee customers customizing their coffee each day."

The United States is the No. 1 coffee-consuming country in the world, followed by Germany and Japan, according to the retailer, citing

A total of 63% of Canadians over the age of 18 drink coffee on a daily basis, making it the No.  beverage choice of adult Canadians, surpassing milk, juice, soft drinks and beer; 49% of Americans drink coffee on a daily basis.

"Since more Canadians drink coffee per capita than Americans, we felt it was high time we celebrated coffee with Canadians," said Tim Donegan, vice president for 7-Eleven Canada Inc. "This is our opportunity to thank our Canadian customers for 42 years of support and it's a chance to introduce them to our extensive coffee beverage line."

Dallas-based 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses approximately 8,900 7-Eleven stores in North America. Globally, there are approximately 43,300 7-Eleven stores in 16 countries. During 2010, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales close to $63 billion.

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