National Coffee Day Embraced by 7-Eleven, Jilted by Starbucks

Thursday, September 29, is being dubbed National Coffee Day 2011, but Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts aren’t jumping on the bandwagon with free coffee, Fox Philadelphia reports. According to Batangas Today, however, 7-Eleven is on board and is giving away free coffee to customers in the U.S. and Canada.

Rumors that Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, two of America’s most popular coffee brands, would be giving away free coffee were quashed Thursday morning, leading to backlash from customers. According to Fox’s Philadelphia station, Starbucks “is getting a lot of heat on its Facebook page” for the decision. Dunkin’, however, is doing an alternate promotion for the event. The brand is reportedly offering a chance to win an appearance in one of the company’s advertisements, with 10 more entrants will receive free coffee for one year.

7-Eleven, meanwhile, is giving out free medium-size cups of coffee from 7 to 11 a.m. on National Coffee Day, available in any flavor.

“Coffee is one of 7-Eleven’s top –selling products,” the company’s vice president of marketing Nancy Smith said in a statement. “Just like with our Slurpee fans, we have an extremely loyal coffee following. We want to thank our coffee customers for their patronage and have some fun both online and in our stores.”

The Washington Post wrote a small tribute to the unofficial holiday, quoting the National Coffee Association on the origins of the popular beverage. According to the newspaper, an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi was the first person to realize the potential of coffee. “It is said that he discovered coffee after noticing that his goats, upon eating berries from a certain tree, became so spirited that they did not want to sleep at night,” the National Coffee Association wrote.
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