Chick-fil-A just launched a new mocha cold brew and a new blend of THRIVE Farmers Hot Coffee. That coffee may taste even better to you after listening to the story behind the brew. We’re sharing the inspiring mission of Chick-fil-A’s coffee partner: THRIVE Farmers with a special interview with Ken Lander, Founder and Chief Sustainability Officer of THRIVE Farmers.
Chick-fil-A Noticed Customers Holding Competitors’ Coffee Cups
About 7 or 8 years ago Chick-fil-A executives began to notice people were ordering their Chick-n-minis and egg white grills while holding a competitor’s coffee cup. They wanted to give customers a better cup of coffee, but they didn’t want to join forces with just anyone. Then in 2014 Chick-fil-A partnered with a relatively unknown coffee company called THRIVE Farmers. One year after partnering with THRIVE Farmers, Chick-fil-A’s coffee sales doubled. Not only is it a better-tasting cup of coffee—but the mission really matches up with Chick-fil-A’s culture of putting people before profits.
How Did THRIVE Farmers Partner With Chick-fil-A?
The story behind how a relatively unknown coffee company formed a relationship with the third most popular fast food chain in America is pretty remarkable. On the podcast, Ken Lander explained how someone sent a Chick-fil-A team member a gift basket that happened to contain THRIVE Farmers coffee. The timing was perfect because Chick-fil-A was in the middle of searching for a coffee partner and put THRIVE on the list for consideration. Listen to the story:
How Ordering Coffee at Chick-fil-A Changes Lives
In the traditional coffee supply chain model, farmers give up the rights to their coffee at the very first step of the sale, while multiple middlemen trade and speculate with prices based on a volatile and low commodity market price. Ken learned this first hand when his coffee crop only earned him $600 his first year of farming. He started selling directly to tourists and realized there was much more money to be made when he could reach consumers more quickly in the process. When farmers in countries like Guatemala and Costa Rica join in this revenue-sharing model, their income is much more predictable. Farmers can earn up to 10 times more than farmers earn in traditional revenue models. This allows them to invest in their communities and support their families without having to supplement their incomes in other ways.
Which Coffee Drinks Use THRIVE Farmers Coffee at Chick-fil-A?
Chick-fil-A continues to add coffee drinks to their menu. There are now several coffee drinks depending on whether you need quick caffeine or a more decadent treat.
- Coffee: The THRIVE Farmers coffee blend is a custom blend made from arabica beans just for Chick-fil-A. With tasting notes of smooth caramel and a nutty finish, it is created to be delicious on its own or to accommodate any cream and sugar preferences. It’s available all day in either regular or decaf.
- Iced Coffee: Using coffee beans sourced by THRIVE Farmers, Chick-fil-A’s Iced Coffee is handcrafted daily. It’s a blend of cold-brewed coffee and 2% milk, sweetened with pure cane sugar and served over ice. You can order it in Original or Vanilla. According to the company, Chick-fil-A’s cold-brewed coffee is never heated; instead, coffee grounds are infused with cool, filtered water and steeped using proprietary equipment for up to 24 hours to create a concentrate that is naturally sweeter with low acidity and bitterness.
- Frosted Coffee: Chick-fil-A’s frosted coffee falls under the “treat” category. It’s a hand-spun blend of cold-brewed coffee with their signature Icedream® dessert. This item arrived on the menu back in the spring of 2016.
- Mocha Cream Cold Brew: The newest coffee drink added to the Chick-fil-A menu is the Mocha Cream Cold Brew. It’s a luxurious swirl of cold-brewed coffee, sweetened cream, and chocolate-flavored syrup, all served over ice.