QUEBEC, Canada — Circle K launched the Sip & Save beverage subscription program on May 5.
Now, U.S. customers can enjoy one daily Polar Pop fountain drink, Froster slushy, coffee or tea of their choice for $5.99 a month, reported CNBC.
The program was originally slated to roll out in 2019 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As vaccinations rise and cases fall, Sip & Save could help boost sales of dispensed beverages, which saw significant drops during the pandemic, according to the c-store operator.
"We really see this an opportunity to drive traffic at a time that people are just starting to come out of the understandable cocoons that they've been in for the last 12-plus months," said Kevin Lewis, chief marketing officer of Circle K's parent company Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
Sip & Save's low price is Circle K's way of thanking customers and celebrating that the pandemic is ending, Lewis added.
Circle K recently tested the program for 90 days at more than 100 stores near Augusta, Ga., and Columbia, S.C.
Data from the test showed that customers are visiting more frequently than Circle K expected and trial customers were adding food purchases to their daily subscription drinks. This bodes well for the retailer's foodservice program, which is implementing the second wave of its "Fresh Food, Fast" concept this year, as Convenience Store News previously reported.
Circle K currently plans to run Sip & Save for 90 days, but it could extend the program.
"If the feedback we get at the end of the 90 days nationally is the same, I think we'd be hard-pressed to say stop," Lewis said.
Based in Quebec, Couche-Tard operates in 26 counties and territories, with more than 14,200 stores, of which approximately 10,800 offer transportation fuel. It is the largest independent c-store operator in terms of the number of company-operated stores in the United States and is a leader in the c-store industry and road transportation fuel retail in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics and Ireland, in addition to a presence in Poland and Hong Kong.