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C.C.'s Community Coffee and Blue Cross Go Guilt-Free
With smaller portion sizes and diet-friendly versions of its most popular drinks, C.C.'s Community Coffee hopes to offer Louisianians all of the indulgence with a fraction of the calories.
image: CCs Community Coffee

C.C.'s Community Coffee House offers guilt-free varieties of its signature drinks year round. But to help customers stick to their weight-loss resolutions well into the New Year, the Louisiana company wanted to do more than offer healthy versions of its everyday indulgences.

“We also wanted to help people reach their healthy lifestyle goals,” says Rachel Hull, marketing manager for C.C.'s Community Coffee House.

So C.C.'s turned to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. With its Louisiana 2 Step program, which promotes eating right and moving more, Blue Cross Blue Shield partnered with C.C.'s to provide customers with information about leading a healthy lifestyle in time for the New Year.

The partnership is rare for Louisiana, where 29.8 percent of the population is obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That percentage puts Louisiana at No. 4 in the U.S. in terms of obesity.

“We have a great, wonderful, unique culture which is a blessing and a curse,” says Dianne Eysink, director of corporate communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana. “The blessing is our food is just out of this world, and of course the curse is it can sometimes cause problems like obesity.”

C.C.'s guilt-free drinks switch in skim milk for 2 percent and use syrups with artificial sweeteners in place of the sugar-laden variety. The substitutions let the company offer its signature drink, the Mochasippi, with only 90 calories and 3 grams of fat in a grande size. A 16-ounce Guilt-Free Turtle Latte or Guilt-Free Caramel Swirl Mocha has about half the calories of its normal counterpart. The diet-friendly drinks clock in at 280 calories and 270, respectively.

“Guilt-free drinks are something we offer every day,” Hull says. “We just took this opportunity to educate people about it.”

The brand also added smaller portion sizes of several of its baked goods to the menu. Everything from bagels to cookies to breakfast breads are now offered in modest sizes, and the chain's new Muffin Caps downsize customers' morning muffins to a 2.3-ounce treat with 60 percent of the calories in the 4-ounce version. Mini-desserts also offer some of the store's richer pastries in half-dollar-size amounts to keep calories in check.

“They're just enough to satisfy you without going overboard,” Hull says.

It's something that's really a part of Louisiana, so having them really care about Louisiana's health is such a wonderful thing.

In addition to its new menu offerings, C.C. is distributing its “Guilt-Free Guide” at all stores. The pamphlet includes coupons for the chain's guilt-free drinks, health information from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana 2 Step program, and a sweepstakes entry form for a chance to win either a 6-month gym membership ($450 value) or a C.C.’s Community Coffee House Gift Card ($250 value). Winners will be chosen from each of the brand's four Louisiana markets.

Blue Cross Blue Shield has 1.2 million Louisiana customers, which makes one out of every four people in the state a member. The insurance company advertised C.C.'s guilt-free drinks on its 2-Step program Web site and distributed the brand's Guilt-Free Guides at health fairs, to different employer groups, and to its 1,600 employees.

“My parents drank Community Coffee, I drank it,” Eysink says. “It's something that's really a part of Louisiana, so having them really care about Louisiana's health is such a wonderful thing.”

Robin Hilmantel is an editorial intern at QSR.