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.

The New Consumer Executive Briefing is exclusive to members — join now to unlock this 1,100-word post and the entire archive. Subscribers should sign in here to continue reading.

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.

I’m a longtime tech and business journalist, and I’m excited to focus my attention on how technology continues to profoundly change how things are created, experienced, bought, and sold. The New Consumer is supported by your membership — join now to receive my reporting, analysis, and commentary directly in your inbox, via my member-exclusive newsletter. Thanks in advance.

Join: $20 / Month Join: $200 / Year More Options