The Caribou Coffee franchise is carving a niche somewhere between Dunkin’ and Starbucks. The chain began offering breakfast — including oatmeal — in 2010 and last year launched lunch items, including “grown-up” grilled cheese sandwiches such as Three Cheese Classic, Aged Cheddar Roast, Italian Chicken Melt and Gouda Turkey Pesto. It’s also unveiled new drinks, both permanent and limited-time offerings. Most recently it rolled out six new sparkling juices and teas to spike summer sales: Lemon Ginger Pomegranate Juice, Green Tea Lemonade, Peach Black Tea, Very Berry Juice, Berry Black Tea and Mint Lime White Tea.
Caribou is hoping consumers will see it as a higher-quality chain with little pretense. Caribou has driven its brand with a more middle-of-the-road, medium-roast coffee, whereas Starbucks has been seen as specializing in a dark roast and Dunkin’ Donuts has been positioned as a light roast.