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Sheetz Expands Coffee Offering With Cold Brew

Retailer hopes to ‘fill more cups’ with specialty beverage

ALTOONA, Pa. -- As the popularity of cold-brew coffee grows, Sheetz is launching a cold-brew offering to be available at all of its stores beginning on National Coffee Day (Thursday, Sept. 29).

“Cold brew is, without a doubt, the best way to make cold coffee, because the flavors have a chance to infuse rather than burn,” said Matt Gray, coffee concepts manager for Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz.

Sheetz’s cold brew starts with fresh coffee ground in-house and later infused in cold water for 10 hours to ensure the balanced blend of sweet and bitter. The process results in a naturally smooth and sweet flavor with less acidity. 

“Sheetz's method takes no shortcuts, nor attempts to cheapen the product in any way, and the result is a delicious flavor profile accessible to all coffee drinkers and rivaling any cold-brew experience out there,” Gray said.

Retail sales of cold brew grew 115% from 2014 to 2015, reaching $7.9 million in sales, according to Chicago-based Mintel. The research firm also found that 24% of consumers currently drink retail-purchased cold-brew coffee, and millennials (55%) and men (30%) stand out as groups most likely drinking this type. 

"With millennials drinking more specialty coffee than any other generation out there, we hope to fill more of their cups and also introduce other coffee drinkers to cold brew,” said Ryan Sheetz, director of brand strategy for Sheetz.

Sheetz’s made-to-order approach (MTO) will extend to its cold brew, with every cup tailored and hand-poured directly for the customer.

In celebration of National Coffee Day on Sept. 29, Sheetz will offer one free small cold brew while supplies last to customers who show their My Sheetz Card, a loyalty card that offers in-store specials, exclusive perks and 3 cents off every gallon of gasoline. 

Established in 1952 in Altoona, Pa., Sheetz is one of America's fastest-growing family-owned and operated convenience-store chains, with more than $6.9 billion in revenue and more than 16,000 employees. The company operates more than 500 store locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.

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