Seattle's Best crowdsources for 'next great coffee drink'

June 20, 2012

Seattle's Best Coffee, part of Starbucks Corporation, is teaming up with celebrity chef Jeff Mauro to launch the Red Cup Showdown – a coast-to-coast search at state fairs and on Facebook to find the most imaginative new coffee drink. The grand prize winner will be awarded with $10,000 and the chance to have their coffee drink featured at Seattle's Best Coffee locations across North America.

"From chicken fried bacon to red velvet funnel cake, State Fairs are a hotbed of cooking creativity," Mauro said. "There's no better place to go to see how Seattle's Best Coffee can be shaken up, turned upside down and transformed into something we've never tasted before. I can't wait to meet some great people and see what they bring to the table for the Red Cup Showdown."

Mauro and Seattle's Best Coffee team members will embark on a 3,000-mile journey to host Red Cup Showdown live competitions alongside custard pie contests, brownie bake-offs and strawberry jam competitions at five state fairs across the nation.

"Every summer more than 100 million Americans take their taste buds for a ride at the fairs," said Chris Bruzzo, chief marketing officer, Seattle's Best Coffee. "The fair is home of the unimaginable and undeniably delicious. We can't wait to see how local cooks have reinvented our coffee, and also give fairgoers a taste of our fair-inspired drinks."

All fairgoers will be able to get ice cold coffee at the Seattle's Best Coffee exhibits on the midways. In addition, fairgoers will be able to pose for a free souvenir digital photo inside a life-sized red mug, take a spin at the prize wheel with thousands of dollars' worth of prizes and receive a free sample of Seattle's Best Coffee to brew at home.

The tour includes:

  • California State Fair, Sacramento: July 13-15 (Red Cup Showdown with Mauro, July 14);
  • Ohio State Fair, Columbus, July 27-29 (Red Cup Showdown with Mauro, July 27);
  • Wisconsin State Fair, Milwaukee, Aug. 3-5 (Red Cup Showdown with Mauro, Aug. 5);
  • Illinois State Fair, Springfield, Aug. 9-11 (Red Cup Showdown with Mauro, Aug. 10);
  • Iowa State Fair, Des Moines, Aug. 13-15 (Red Cup Showdown with Mauro, Aug. 15).

The Red Cup Showdown live competitions will be viewable on Seattle's Best Coffee's Facebook page. Fans will be able to follow Mauro as he judges contestants from each state fair who will compete to win.

Additionally, Seattle's Best Coffee is looking for blue ribbon-worthy coffee entries from those who can't make it to the fair tour. The Facebook competition call for entries will run through July 27. The contest is open to all U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years or older. For more information on how to enter and official rules, visit

Five finalists will be named from the state fair competitions, one per state, and one finalist will be named from the Facebook contest. A panel of judges will select the finalists based on use of Seattle's Best Coffee, appetite appeal, uniqueness and the story behind the coffee drink idea. The six finalists will win a trip to New York City where they battle for the grand prize in the finale Red Cup Showdown live competition Aug. 23. The public also will be able to vote on their favorite finalist Aug. 18-22. The grand-prize winning coffee drink will be selected based on the vote of the judging panel, as well as Facebook votes.

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Topics: Coffee / Specialty Beverages , Customer Service / Experience , Food & Beverage , Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Online / Mobile / Social

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