GetGo Café + Market Upgrades Coffee Program

The additions include bean-to-cup machines, cold brew coffees and a new signature blend.

February 15, 2023

PITTSBURGH—GetGo Café + Market, which is owned and operated by Giant Eagle, has upgraded its self-serve beverage bar area chainwide, including new bean-to-cup coffee machines and the addition of nitrogen-infused and cold brew coffees. The company said it took four months to complete the upgrades and is part of GetGo’s strategy to enhance its foodservice offerings.

“Our food-first approach means making sure our made-to-order menu is fresh, delicious and unique above anything else,” said GetGo’s Director of Culinary Innovation Farley Kaiser. “Our goal was to serve the freshest and best-tasting coffee in the market, which meant undertaking a large-scale upgrade across our entire footprint. Our guests’ reactions to our new coffee products have made all the effort worth it. We couldn’t be happier with the results.”

According to GetGo, the self-serve beverage upgrade focused on three areas: sourcing great-tasting, always-fresh coffee beans; the installation of bean-to-cup machines that both grind and brew coffee on demand; and the introduction of nitro and cold brew coffee.

“You can have the fanciest, most expensive coffee machine in the world, but if what gets put into it is cheap or stale, you’re going to get a bad cup of coffee,” said Marion Clarke, category manager, GetGo.

Clarke is in charge of GetGo’s coffee program and led the upgrade project. “Coffee beans were the first step, and we sampled hundreds of beans until we found the right combination of taste and consistency. Only the best coffee beans would earn the right to carry the GetGo name, so we kept our standards extremely high throughout the sourcing process,” she said.

Clarke said the hard work paid off in the end as the beans they selected after the rigorous evaluation process stand in a league of their own.

“Our coffee beans are premium quality, and their taste gives those large coffee chains and QSRs real competition,” Clarke said.

“If you’ve ever had coffee that coats your mouth or has a strong bitter flavor, then you’ve probably had coffee that’s been prepared in large quantities and sat in a metal urn for too long,” Clarke explained.

“Coffee served this way can sit there for hours, which just further concentrates that bitter flavor, and also infuses it with that tinny, metallic taste.”

GetGo solved this problem with the installation of the bean-to-cup machines that grind and brew hot or iced coffee on demand in less than a minute. “With our new machines, guests make a couple of preference selections on a touch screen, then they’ll have our amazing coffee beans ground and brewed in less than a minute,” said Clarke. “You’ll never get a fresher cup of coffee.”

Coinciding with the new machines is the introduction of GetGo’s new Signature Blend coffee, which is a hand-blended, full-bodied mix of four premium beans from around the world with hints of smokiness, cocoa, citrus and cherry.

Clarke explained that the coffee will have a rich color and a light froth on the top. “That froth is called ‘crema’ and it marks exceptional quality,” she said. “Crema is produced from coffee bean oils in a delicate brewing process. Not only does it help the final coffee taste better than an average cup of coffee, but you’ll also only get crema when the coffee is made from fresh beans in a top-quality machine.”

The company’s coffee upgrade included the installation of a new machine to offer nitrogen-infused and cold brew coffee on demand.

“At GetGo, we take pride in giving guests the ability to customize their experience, which you’ll see with all the options featured in our made-to-order menu,” said Kaiser. She said that giving guests the ability to determine their own level of sweetness and creaminess is just another example of GetGo guests having the ability to choose the flavors they like best.

GetGo is the first convenience store in its market to launch a campaign with nitro and cold brew coffees.

“Nitro and cold brew are both elevated coffee experiences,” said Clarke. “We’ve seen strong consumer demand for both these products, and we knew our coffee upgrade wouldn’t be complete until we added these to our lineup.”

“We’re confident that any guest will find something to enjoy with our new coffee offerings, even those people who don’t typically drink coffee,” Kaiser added. “Whether you’re looking for that pick-me-up with a hot coffee at the beginning of the day or that indulgent cold coffee treat in the afternoon, GetGo has you covered.”

Coffee consumption has soared to a two-decade high as Americans brew up new post-COVID routines, according to the National Coffee Association. Sixty-six percent of Americans now drink coffee each day, more than any other beverage, including tap water, and up by nearly 14% since January 2021, the largest increase since the association began tracking data.

Iced coffee, in particular, has soared in demand. According to NACS State of the Industry Report of 2021 Data, other cold dispensed beverage sales, which includes iced coffee, increased 61.2% year over year in 2021. The New York Times has reported that many people, particularly millennials and Gen Zers, don’t even consider ordering a hot-coffee beverage, opting for iced coffee all year long. Starbucks recently reported that 75% of its drink sales were from cold beverages. The company said its customers are more likely to request add-ins to their cold drinks, such as syrups and milks, than they are to their hot beverages, which raises the price of the beverage. Starbucks also said that cold beverages are popular with Gen Z customers.

To read more about coffee trends and what consumers are demanding in their brewed drinks, read “Caffeine Fix” in NACS Magazine.