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Tag: Starbucks

Starbucks Will Open In Italy In 2017

The Seattle coffee chain plans to enter the country that first inspired CEO Howard Schultz decades ago.


Starbucks announced plans on Sunday to open its first Italian coffee shop in Milan in early 2017, with hopes to open more locations throughout the country.

Starbucks will partner with Percassi Group, a Bergamo-based company that has developed other American brands like Victoria's Secret in the country. Percassi will own and operate Starbucks' Italian stores as a licensee of the brand.

CEO Howard Schultz said in a release the partners will bring the “Starbucks Experience” to Italy in a way that “will make you all proud.” Schultz said he has been going to Italy since 1983 and Italian coffee makers inspired his vision for the coffee house chain, which now has more than 23,000 stores around the world but not a single outlet yet in Italy.

It is not clear how much demand there will be for Starbucks coffee in Italy. The country has a well-established market and culture for espresso, posing a challenge for the giant U.S. chain.

Matt Rourke / AP

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BuzzFeed – Business

Starbucks Changed Its Rewards Program And People Are Not Happy

Luiz Filipe Carneiro Machado / Via Flickr: luizfilipe

Starbucks announced Monday morning that starting in April, customers in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico who participate its rewards program will start earning points per dollar spent, and no longer per visit as in the current program.

The new system incentivizes higher spending and larger orders. Previously, customers earned one point, or “star” as they are called in the Starbucks system, per visit or transaction, and received a free food or drink item per 12 visits, no matter how much they spent. So if you ordered a $ 2 coffee every day, you could earn a reward after spending about $ 24.

Starting April, customers will earn two stars per dollar spent and will only receive a free item after accumulating 125 points, or spending more than $ 62.

Starbucks said it currently has about 11 million active rewards customers. Nationwide, its U.S. cafes receive 75 million customers each month.

Starbucks global chief strategy officer Matthew Ryan told investors this was “the number one customer-requested update” and “as we switch the mechanics of the program, we are not using it as an opportunity to opaquely weaken the rewards proposition.” He added that most customers spend about $ 5, and “there are a small minority of people who would either be advantaged or
disadvantaged” by the change.

That disadvantaged group, however, is not pleased.

“If customers simply continue to engage as they currently do, instead of engaging more as we believe they will, the vast majority of our customers will earn rewards just as fast as or faster than they would today,” a Starbucks spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

Starbucks has been responding to consumer complaints on Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook / Via Facebook: Starbucks

Facebook / Via Facebook: Starbucks

Facebook / Via Facebook: Starbucks

BuzzFeed – Business

Starbucks Gives Up On The Teavana “Tea Bar” Business

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Starbucks once saw a massive future selling tea in the U.S. It acquired tea retailer Teavana in 2012, and in October 2013 opened its first Teavana Tea Bar. “Tea presents a $ 90 billion global market opportunity, and we are excited to celebrate the first retail example of how our two companies are coming together,” said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz during the launch.

Now, just 27 months after opening the first of five brewed tea outlets, Starbucks is largely abandoning its tiny chain of standalone tea bars. The company announced on Friday that it will convert the three Teavana tea bar locations in New York into Starbucks stores by the end of April. It will close its Beverly Hills location. Only the Seattle location will continue to operate.

While Starbucks just reported record revenues in its most recent quarter, today's announcement reflects the coffee giant's setbacks growing its other smaller brands. Maybe Americans just aren't that excited about tea, even when it comes endorsed by Starbucks.

Teavana isn't the first retail operation Starbucks has abandoned. In July, the company announced that it was closing all 23 La Boulange stand-alone locations and the two manufacturing facilities that serve those them (La Boulange baked goods are still served in Starbucks cafes).

Starbucks also closed its Evolution Fresh retail location in San Francisco, but kept three stores open in Washington.

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, and Oprah Winfrey visit the Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar in New York in 2014.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

There are still 350 Teavana shops that sell packaged teas and gift sets, and the brewed teas are also offered in Starbucks cafes. “Focusing our investments on bringing an up-leveled tea experience to our customers through Starbucks stores and our Teavana specialty stores will allow us to reach more customers through our broad footprint,” said Teavana spokeswoman Alisa Martinez in an email.

This of course, was not the plan. Starbucks was betting on a large and growing population of American tea drinkers to support the expansion of the tea bar concept.

“The Teavana Tea Bar is a critical first step for us to meet the needs of tea drinkers everywhere by providing a place where tea enthusiasts and casual tea drinkers alike can learn about, enjoy and share in the tea experience,” said Cliff Burrows, Starbucks group president for the U.S., Americas, and Teavana in 2013.

It's possible that Teavana tea bars might find a more eager tea-drinking audience in China, Starbucks' second largest market, where Starbucks is expecting much growth in the future. If the tea chain does open in China, however, it will be far from the only tea shop around.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Starbucks Is Closing Its La Boulange Stores — Can Its Other Brands Survive?

One In Six American Adults Got A Starbucks Gift Card For The Holidays

BuzzFeed – Business

Teens Think Starbucks Is A Restaurant

In a survey of thousands of American teens, Starbucks was the most preferred restaurant chain.

Starbucks may have started decades ago as a premium cafe for Seattle yuppies, but the coffee chain — which now has more than 12,000 U.S. outlets — has become a favorite stop for America's teenage consumers too.

In its latest survey, “Taking Stock With Teens,” investment bank Piper Jaffray found more teens chose Starbucks as their favorite restaurant than McDonald's, even though the Golden Arches remains the country's largest chain by sales.

The chain's popularity with young consumers is poised to stay strong: A report by Goldman Sachs also said Starbucks was well-positioned to benefit from this new wave of millennial parents who “would not feel guilty/embarrassed to feed to their kids” there.

Piper Jaffray surveyed 9,400 teens with an average age of 16 for the report.

Starbucks was most popular among high-income teens, who come from a family with an average household income of $ 107,000.

Starbucks was most popular among high-income teens, who come from a family with an average household income of $ 107,000.

Piper Jaffray

Burrito chain Chipotle, despite having just 1,900 stores, was the upper-income group of teens' second favorite restaurant. Chick-fil-A, an Atlanta-based chicken sandwich chain which only recently started expanding its presence in the Northeast, came in third.

Burger giant McDonald's ranked fourth, followed by Panera.

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BuzzFeed – Business

Starbucks’ New Pumpkin Spice Latte Actually Contains Pumpkin

The popular fall drink has legions of obsessive fans, but now the recipe is changing. Will people still love it?

The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte will contain a new ingredient this fall: pumpkin.

The drink inspires a kind of mild insanity every year when it returns to stores, and even though we're still in the hot and humid peak of summer, fans are already thinking ahead. It is hands down Starbucks's most popular seasonal drink, and that makes it all the more surprising that that the company is changing the recipe.

“The PSL returns this fall, and this time it will be made with real pumpkin and without caramel coloring,” the company announced on its blog on Monday.

The new drink will contain pumpkin puree, ending a running joke that the Pumpkin Spice Latte contains no actual pumpkin. In fact, the primary flavors associated with the drink all along have been the spices — such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove — rather than pumpkin itself.

Starbucks has sold more than 200 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes, commonly referred to as PSLs, since the drink launched in 2003.

Food companies — from Panera and Taco Bell to General Mills — have been trying to remove artificial ingredients from their foods to appeal to consumer demand for more natural options. Starbucks, already known for offering higher-quality options, must stay on top of these trends to compete.

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BuzzFeed – Business

Will Starbucks Become The Fast Food You’re Not Ashamed To Feed Your Kids?

The generation that embraced organic food and specialty coffee are becoming parents. That means there’s a lot of kid’s meals waiting to be sold.


When Starbucks' new Mini Frappuccino — a shrunken 10-ounce version of the popular sweet, icy drink — launched on Monday, it seemed to some to be a clear attempt by the coffee chain to reach a new, smaller consumer: kids.

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BuzzFeed – Business