Executive Briefing

Panera’s $9 coffee subscription and the art of forming a habit

And: How Starbucks’ personalized email marketing is the best in the business.

Panera coffee cups
Courtesy Panera

Panera, the fast-casual restaurant chain known for bread bowls, made an attention-grabbing announcement late last month: For a $9 monthly subscription fee, customers could have unlimited coffee in its more than 2,000 US stores.

While this is sort of about coffee — Panera boasts that it recently revamped its coffee program, and will also offer free almond milk in its coffee stations — it’s not really about coffee. And it’s not really about recurring subscription revenue, either. Instead, this is a potentially fascinating experiment in demand generation and the coveted ability to create daily habits.

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

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