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Caribou debuts lower-calorie beverage line

Caribou debuts lower-calorie beverage line

Caribou Coffee, the 540-unit coffeehouse chain, introduced Northern Lite beverages, a line of drinks that contain 40-percent fewer calories than Caribou’s standard offerings and include mochas, lattes, tea lattes and blended drinks.

The Minneapolis-based chain’s first Northern Lite mocha continues to be made with Guittard chocolate, an upgrade that was rolled out to all Caribou units in December 2009. The beverage also contains milk and nonfat whipped cream.

Alfredo Martel, senior vice president of marketing and product management, said guests can customize their regular drinks to include lower-calorie flourishes like skim or soy milk, sugar-free syrup, and nonfat whipped cream. Caribou said it is guaranteeing its work by offering to remake any beverage a customer finds unsatisfactory.

To promote the low-calorie beverages, Caribou is reprising its Happy Monday promotion, in which Daybreaker breakfast sandwiches will be priced at $2 and any medium Northern Lite drink will be $3 every Monday through May 30. Guests also can receive 50 cents off any beverage if they have it poured into reusable drinkware.

The chain’s big coffeehouse rival, Starbucks Coffee, also has been offering lower-calorie beverages. Last year the Seattle-based chain offered guests the ability to customize the Frappuccino blended beverage with skim and soy milk or sugar-free syrups. It also rolled out the Skinny Vanilla Latte and the Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte, which were 90 calories for a 12-ounce portion.

Caribou Coffee operates 408 coffeehouses and franchises another 132 locations in 20 states, the District of Columbia and nine international markets.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].

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