Not Your Mom’s Starbucks Coffee: Dutch Bros Expands Into San Diego, Attracts Gen Z With Its Trendy Drinks

Dutch Bros Coffee, an Oregon-based beverage brand, has recently expanded into San Diego, attracting a cult-like following among teenagers and young women. The company’s sweet variations of coffee, colorful tea, and punchy energy drinks are popular with teenagers and young women. Oceanside is the No. 1 performing store out of Dutch Bros’ 835 locations across 11 states, according to Aaron Harris, the Dutch Bros executive leading the expansion into San Diego.

Dutch Bros’ success in San Diego is attributed to its proximity to the freeway and Camp Pendleton, as well as its focus on serving ice-filled drinks. The company also offers a dog-friendly treat for pups. In general, Dutch Bros does well in markets with lots of sunshine, like San Diego, because roughly 70% of their drinks are served with ice.

Dutch Bros doesn’t franchise its newest stores, but instead appoints employees who have been with the company for a minimum number of years to run them. Sidney Krall, who operates the Oceanside location, has been with Dutch Bros for 13 years. Her store’s peak hours are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., but it gets even busier on weekends. The demand is exciting, with the drive-thru often having a line of about 40 cars and around 20 people at the walk-up window on Saturdays.

Some of the most popular drinks at Dutch Bros Coffee in Oceanside include the Cocomo, Golden Eagle, and a seasonal holiday beverage called the Hazelnut Truffle Mocha. The sugary drinks are popular with Gen Z.

Classic coffee house staples like mochas are dressed up with a whipped cream hat and chocolate drizzle, while sweet Dutch Frost cotton candy and snickerdoodle shakes are available. Teas like the Double Rainbro flavored with strawberry, peach, and coconut syrups and Dutch Bros Rebel energy drinks, with names like Shark Attack and Aftershock, are neon hues of various flavored syrups in a cup.

Drinks come in three standard sizes (as well as kids cups) and prices vary for different types of beverages, such as hot, iced, or blended. An iced vanilla chai ranges from about $5 to $8. On a recent Wednesday afternoon, the Oceanside shop had a steady flow of customers at the two-lane drive-thru and the walk-up window, and it was noticeably busier than the drive-thru line at the Starbucks across the street.

June Cabral, who used to frequent Dutch Bros in Northern California, was excited when the Oceanside location opened because her family used to frequent the brand in Northern California. Now that her husband is stationed at Camp Pendleton, she said they come by at least once a week for a Dutch Bros treat.

Read More @ The San Diego Union-Tribune

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