Apparently, there's not enough ways to get coffee on-the-go, so Seattle's Best Coffee (owned by Starbucks) has teamed up with Coinstar to launch thousands of coffee kiosks in grocery, drug and mass merchant stores. The "Rubi" kiosk roll-out begins this summer starting with the Northeast and West Coast, and Coinstar expects about 500 machines by the end of the year. In the next several year, there will be thousands.
The idea behind the launch stems from a successful pilot test, where Coinstar and Seattle's Best managed to find a niche within a $40 billion U.S. coffee market. The machines grind and brew whole beans on demand. Currently, the machines can serve a range of drinks such as coffee, mochas and lattes, but the company is experimenting with iced drinks as well. Drinks start at $1 for a cup of coffee; fancier drinks cost $1.50.
In short, if you thought Starbucks or its offshoots were already ubiquitous, you were wrong -- it's only going to get worse. Given the potential the company sees for these vending machines, we can only imagine what's in store of the next wave of coffee gadgetry. After all, there are already espresso machines you can text and robot baristas. It seems as if our already coffee-addicted society is about to get a lot more caffeinated.