Beverage Industry

Seattle’s Best searches for ‘next great coffee drink’

June 19, 2012

Seattle’s Best Coffee, part of Starbucks Corp., Seattle, teamed with celebrity chef and “Next Food Network Star” winner Jeff Mauro to launch the Red Cup Showdown, a national search at state fairs and on Facebook to find the most imaginative new coffee drink. The grand prize winner will be awarded $10,000 and the chance to have their coffee drink featured at Seattle’s Best Coffee locations across North America.

The Red Cup Showdown will take a 3,000 mile journey and host live competitions alongside pie contests, bake-offs and strawberry jam competitions at five state fairs across the country.

“Every summer, more than 100 million Americans take their taste buds for a ride at the fairs,” said Chris Bruzzo, chief marketing officer for Seattle’s Best Coffee, in a statement. “The fair is home of the unimaginable and undeniably delicious. We can’t wait to see how local cooks have reinvented our coffee, and also give fairgoers a taste of our fair-inspired drinks.”

Fairgoers at state fairs in California, Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa will be able to cool off with a free iced coffee drink from the festival-influenced choices, including Cotton Candy Mocha, Elephant Ear Latte and Carmel Pretzel Mocha. In addition, fairgoers will be able to pose for a free souvenir digital photo inside a life-sized red mug, take a spin at the prize wheel and receive a free sample of Seattle’s Best Coffee to brew at home.

Fans also can join the Red Cup Showdown on Facebook, which will accept “Next Great Coffee Drink” recipes through July 27. The brand’s Facebook page also will follow the journey with Mauro and announce the winners of the live competitions.

Five finalists will be named from the state fair competitions, one from each state, and one finalist will be named from the Facebook contest. A panel of judges will select the finalists based on use of Seattle’s Best Coffee, appetite appeal, uniqueness and the story behind the coffee drink idea. The six finalists will win a trip to New York City where they will battle for the grand prize in the finale Red Cup Showdown live competition Aug. 23. The public also will be able to vote for their favorite finalist from Aug. 18 to 22. The grand-prize winning coffee drink will be selected based on the votes of the judging panel as well as Facebook votes.