Meet Alan Patterson - our newest addition to the VCC family

We'd like to welcome our newest staff member to the VCC family. 

Fredrick Alan Patterson (Alan) comes to Vienna as our new Territory Sales Manager, with lots of sales experience and an enthusiasm that is infectious.  Please welcome Alan to VCC as he makes the rounds over the next few weeks to meet our existing friends and customers.  He’ll be learning all about our particular brand of specialty coffee as well as the suite of other strong brands the Vienna Coffee distributes to our customers like Ghirardelli Chocolate sauces, Monin and Torani syrups and sauces, Xtreme Freeze real fruit smoothie bases and of course Harney and Son’s Fine Teas.  Ask him what’s new.  You can reach Alan at or call him at 865 809 5849.

Alan lives in South Knoxville with his wife of 13 years, Terry.  A Navy veteran, Alan has been stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Chicago, Camp Lejeune, NC and the SEAL Team HQ in Little Creek, VA.  He grew up in and around the food sales business and has sold a range of products from insurance to Caterpillar parts to the wares of over 30 different food product manufacturers.  We look forward to his help taking Vienna Coffee to the next level of excellence in sales and customer service.

Coffee Prices are on the rise due to Climate Change

Thanks to unusual temperatures and rainfall, coffee production is falling in some parts of the world, just as emerging markets like India and China are embracing the drink.


Freshly-roasted espresso coffee beans cool in a refurbished 1918 Probat coffee bean roaster. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Jeremy Hobson: The price of coffee beans is above $3 a pound for the first time since the 1970s. And experts say coffee inventories are unlikely to build up in the forseeable future. Worse yet, some are saying we've reached "peak coffee" levels.

Here to explain is our sustainability reporter Adriene Hill. Good morning.

Adriene Hill:Good morning Jeremy.

Hobson: So what is going on here? Why are we talking about peak coffee?

Hill: Well, coffee production in some parts of the world is falling. Places like Colombia have seen their coffee production really just decline pretty dramatically since 2007. And a lot of what's happening seems to be related to weather issues. So they're seeing unusual rainfall, they're seeing unusual temperatures. These things are not good for coffee beans; especially the very finicky, the very precious arabica bean is not interested in big weather changes. And the problem is, it looks like, and some scientists think it could be related to climate change.

Hobson: Climate change, so it's not a temporary thing?

Hill: That's the big worry, and that's why we're talking about peak coffee. Right now, it's so concerning that some international organizations have actually turned to the United Nations and said that, hey, let's start talking about coffee crops. As you look for it, as you start thinking about climate change globally, we need to pay attention to the coffee supply.

Hobson: And what is all this going to do to coffee prices?

Hill: You want to guess?

Hobson: Uh, going up?

Hill: Up is right. Way up. So coffee production is falling at the same time that people in emerging markets like India and China are realizing just how delicious and wonderful coffee really is. And the price of coffee futures -- what the traders buy and sell for it -- has doubled in the last year.

Hobson: So not good news at all for coffee drinkers.

Hill: Not at all. Starbucks just upped the costs of its bagged coffee about 12 percent. Kraft announced it would bump the cost of Maxwell House by more than 20 percent. And that's just one in a series of price hikes. So our morning coffee is going to get a lot more expensive, which is bad news for me.

Hobson: And me as well. And probably most of the people listening right now. Thanks Adriene, Marketplace's Adriene Hill.

Hill: Thank you Jeremy.

The coffee that's Bigger than the Human Stomach

This is a disturbing article we were sent from The Independent.

By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

Thursday, 20 January 2011

At 916ml the Trenta is Starbucks' biggest coffee, 325ml larger than the next size down


At 916ml the Trenta is Starbucks' biggest coffee, 325ml larger than the next size down

Starbucks, the American coffee giant which translated Milan's espresso bars into an identikit global chain serving half pints of coffee-flavoured frothy milk, has launched another innovation: a super-sized cup that contains more liquid than an average human stomach.

Even a nation as obese as the United States expressed surprise at yesterday's introduction of the Trenta receptacle ("Thirty" in Italian), which carries 31 fluid ounces (916ml) in one cup – equivalent to more than an ordinary bottle of wine.

Launched initially in 14 US states, the transparent cup – 63 per cent larger than the chain's previous largest size, the Venti (561ml) – will carry only iced coffee, iced tea and iced-tea lemonade. Starbucks said it was launching the cup in response to demand.

The Seattle-based chain, which has not yet said whether the drink will head across the Atlantic, said its unsweetened drinks would have fewer than 90 calories and sweetened versions fewer than 230.

Its introduction, following Starbucks' decision to drop its name from its redesigned logo earlier this month, prompted one commentator to speculate whether the corporation was going through a mid-life crisis prior to its 40th birthday on 30 March. In mocking animations posted online, zombie customers lurch into Starbucks, staggering out carrying cups larger than their bodies.

The drink's arrival looks like an attempt to increase custom among Americans, the ninth-fattest nation on Earth and the most obese major nation. Fast food and grocery firms there sell an increasing number of super-sized colas and coffees: the grocery chain 7-Eleven has cups called Big Gulps which can carry three pints, while Starbucks' increasingly close competitor, McDonald's, sells ice teas in 32 fluid ounce buckets for $1.

The website HealthHabits described the Starbucks cup's introduction as "a breakthrough for human obesity". It assured readers that, although a Trenta was larger than an average stomach, their stomachs would expand after drinking three or four.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks' chief executive – a tough marketing executive raised in Brooklyn's housing projects who has revived the £7bn-a-year company since returning to the helm in early 2008 – is thought to have been behind the Trenta. Mr Schultz has been behind most of the innovations that have turned the company into a multi-national marketing success.

After a visit to Milan in 1983, as the company's new marketing executive he came up with the idea of recreating state-side the popularity of neighbourhood espressos bars where people stopped to chat and sink milk-less shots. Schultz persuaded senior management, which had been selling coffee beans, to sell fresh coffee and hit on the addition of milk, claiming to have discovered the latte in the Italian city of Verona.

Mr Schultz's borrowing of Italian words to name the drinks sizes has also paid dividends. "Of course not everyone is thrilled to have to use ridiculous-sounding made-up terms just to get a cup of coffee," wrote Taylor Clark in his even-handed history of the company, Starbucked: a Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce & Culture. "Some customers stick to 'small', 'medium' and 'large' as a display of personal integrity – but Starbucks-speak works." He added: "Consider this: for which of the following options would you be willing to pay more for: a 'grande caffe misto' or a 'medium coffee with milk'?"

To help customers to navigate its complex and – to the uninitiated – bizarre blend of Italian and marketing, Starbucks once published a 22-page booklet to its orders called Make It Your Drink. Writing for the Washington Post, Alexandra Petri described Trenta as sounding like "one of those hip gender-free monikers for kids ('Jayden, meet Trenta')" or a place where a Second World War summit may have taken place. She quoted Mr Schultz's remark in a memo four years ago that Starbucks had lost some "romance and theatre" and that customers lacked an "intimate experience with the barista". "We understand your worries, but this is ridiculous!"Ms Petri wrote. "Now look at you! Changes to appearance! Changes to diet! Next you'll buy a sports car, take up transcendental meditation, and leave us for someone younger!

"I know you feel threatened by McDonald's... doing all the things you used to... but cheaper, and with a taste less like cauterized rubber. But the answer is not to try to become McDonald's."

What's in a name?

Starbucks has three main sizes: Tall (354ml – more than half a pint); Grande (473ml), and Venti (561ml – one pint).

The new size, Trenta, is 916ml, or more than one and a half pints. The names are Italian: Grande meaning large, Venti is twenty (the cup is 20 fluid ounces), and Trenta is thirty – for a cup containing 31 fluid ounces. Starbucks trademarked Venti, prompting coffee consultant Bruce Milletto to say: "One day I expect to pick up La Repubblica and learn that Starbucks has purchased the entire Italian language."

Research Brief: Java Justification

We were sent this very interesting article about how coffee drinking changes throughout the generations...

Monday, October 18, 2010: Center for Media Research

Java Justification

According to Mintel research, a cup of coffee is a daily occurrence for 66% of Americans, but sales have been relatively unchanged in recent years. Demand for coffee is strong among those aged 45+, and over-55-year-olds are the fastest growing segment of coffee drinkers. In order to sustain long-term growth, says the report, marketers need to court their younger customers. The study found that while 40% of 18-24-year-olds believe coffee improves their concentration, only 27% drink coffee on a daily basis.

Bill Patterson, senior analyst at Mintel, notes that "Young adults are somewhat more likely than over-55s to associate negative health consequences with coffee consumption... understanding the choice between energy drinks and coffee needs significant marketing focus... "

Younger coffee drinkers also differ from their older counterparts in that they prefer sweetened coffee drinks to plain coffee... 40% of 18-24-year-olds say so, compared to only 22% of 45-54-year-olds. Furthermore, just 28% of 18-24-year olds like the taste of coffee on its own, compared to 53% of 45-54-year-olds.

The younger demographic often prefer to visit cafes for their caffeine fix, says the report. And, 22% of 18-24-year-olds like to have a cup of coffee on hand when they're running errands, while 46% say they like to relax with a cup of coffee.

For more on this study , please visit Mintel here.

We welcome and appreciate forwarding of our newsletters in their entirety or in part with proper attribution.
(c) 2010 MediaPost Communications, 1140 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001