Sheetz Invests $7.5 Million in Coffee Brewing Technology

Aims to improve taste consistency, provide more flavor choices, reduce waste

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Sheetz Inc. has installed a new coffee brewing technology to offer customers more consistency in taste, temperature and aroma. The new technology, called Soft Heat by BUNN, will still brew the company's Sheetz Bros. Coffeez and represents a $7.5 million investment in the company's coffee technology.

"Many traditional brewing systems degrade coffee taste by using pots that extend exposure to inconsistent heating that results in coffee with a burnt or flat taste," said Louie Sheetz, executive vice president, marketing. "To add to the problem, coffee that is stored in open containers loses much of the natural aroma and evaporates before it's even poured, making for a bland cup of coffee."

The new brewing technology, now being installed, will keep coffee at an ideal, uniform holding temperature in a closed container to preserve the aroma of Sheetz Bros. Coffeez. It also uses custom "pulse-brew" technology that makes a flavorful cup of coffee.

Sheetz is also introducing its new flavor dispensers that give customers more variety and flexibility in choosing flavors to complement their coffee. The new setup has 20 possible flavor-shot combinations, including French Vanilla, Irish Cream, Amaretto, Chocolate Cream, Hazelnut and Butter Pecan, in addition to traditional Half & Half and nondairy creamer. This allows patrons to truly customize any of the five Sheetz Bros. Coffeez blends.

Additionally, Sheetz will continue to offer four different sweetener options precisely delivered from its flavor stations.

"Adding sugar, cream and flavor shots generally involves opening numerous individual containers, then pouring, sometimes spilling, the contents into the coffee or on the counter, creating a lot of unnecessary mess and paper waste," Sheetz said. "If you're in a hurry in the morning, it can be frustrating waiting for someone to fumble through the flavoring process."

The new Sheetz system changes that because it is simple, quick and lets customers mix and match flavoring while virtually eliminating spills and paper waste, according to the company.

"This set up gives customers everything they expect when they come to Sheetz. No one else gives you the ability to customize your coffee like we do," Sheetz said.

Sheetz is rolling out the new Soft Heat brewing technology and flavor dispensers in its convenience restaurants throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, and the company expects to complete the rollout by the end of the year.

Established in 1952 in Altoona, Pa., Sheetz is a family-owned and operated convenience restaurant chain, with more than $5 billion in annual revenue.  The company operates 422 locations throughout Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and West Virginia.

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