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Quick Chek Takes Its Coffee Virtual

5/2/2011 microsite highlights the c-store retailer's varied customization options

For many of its customers, Quick Chek and coffee is a combination as ingrained as peanut butter and jelly, or milk and cookies.

“We have very loyal customers, especially for our coffee,” said Mandy Steindl-Kwiecien, category manager for the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based chain of more than 125 stores in New Jersey and Southern New York. There are so many fans, in fact, that one out of every three customers who walks into a Quick Chek location leaves with a cup of coffee in hand.

To further entice customers to satisfy their coffee fix at its stores, Quick Chek launched an interactive microsite this year, dedicated to its coffee. went live in January.

This is not the first category-specific microsite the chain has developed. Last summer, it introduced where visitors could submit their own sub recipes and create fun characters for their subs.

“We took the best elements from that microsite and the best elements from the coffee section of our company Web site to create the ILoveMyCoffee. com microsite,” Steindl-Kwiecien explained. “We wanted to give our customers a way to have virtual fun with their coffee.”

From Jan. 3 to March 20 of this year, visitors to the new microsite could create their own coffee concoctions for a chance to win a year's worth of free coffee, and have their face and recipe featured on Quick Chek's coffee cups. Everyone who submitted a personal coffee recipe was rewarded with a pop-up coupon, and users also received coupons tied to how well they played the “Follow the Fixins” memory pattern game.

Customization is at the core of why customers choose to get their coffee at Quick Chek. All stores have 11 varieties of brewed coffee and a minimum of six cappuccinos and hot chocolates. Condiment options include milks, creamers and sweeteners, as well as toppings such as whipped cream, cinnamon, chocolate syrup and mini marshmallows. “If you stand in our stores for any period of time, you'll customers go up to one of our brewed pots and start mixing. It could be half decaf, half Columbian. Some add cappuccino, others like to mix in hot chocolate, and then you have all the condiments,” Steindl-Kwiecien said.

As of early March, the site had just over 10,000 visitors, and although the contest is over, will remain active, allowing visitors to create signature coffee concoctions and play the Follow the Fixins game to win coupons.

“Our biggest goals are to just key in on the awareness of all the customization options we offer around coffee, and entice customers to go into our stores and do the real thing,” she said.

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