Starbucks Pushes Average-Joe Java

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Just as Starbucks is enticing coffee drinkers with cheaper Frappuccinos this week, it’s been working on even bigger plans to get people hooked on their coffee.

Starbucks expects to expand its Seattle’s Best Coffee brand, acquired in 2003, following a redesign of its logo that is designed to help the company appeal more to thriftier coffee lovers.

Starbucks has taken a hit as smart spenders decided to forego their $5 coffee drinks during the recession, and the company has been facing some tough competition from companies like Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s (Stock Quote: MCD), which now serve similar specialty coffee drinks cheaper.

Seattle’s Best currently has only 3,000 locations, and is a little-known brand from the West Coast, but Starbucks (Stock Quote: SBUX) is planning to open 30,000 more points of distribution for this coffee by September of this year, including Subway sandwich shops, AMC Theaters (Stock Quote: L), Alaska Airlines (Stock Quote: ALK) and Royal Caribbean Cruises (Stock Quote: RCL), the company announced.

McDonald’s currently serves espresso drinks at 11,000 of its restaurants nationwide, and the fast food chain has been heavily advertising its new Frappé blended coffee drinks sold at its in-store and standalone McCafés. McDonald’s Frappés compete directly with Starbucks Frappuccinos, which are available at half price between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. at its shops nationwide through May 16 as a part of a special promotion.

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