Starbucks to Shakeup Beverage Lineup

Discussion
Jul 01, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Starbucks is introducing a new line of iced coffee, tea and tea lemonade drinks
called ice shaken refreshments, reports The New York Times.


The new drinks, which took two years to develop, are created by shaking the
ingredients poured into a a clear martini shaker. The drinks will retail between
$1.95 and $2.85 for a 16-oz cup.


Starbucks rollout mirrors an industry-wide trend of coffee shops looking to
expand product selection beyond hot coffee.


Cindy Gordon, spokeswoman for Dunkin’ Donuts said, “Fifty percent of consumers
don’t drink coffee; we need to have enough variety of beverages and options
that are going to appeal to them and bring them into our stores.”


Starbucks’ move is seen by some as a strategy to establish its stores
as a destination stop for refreshing drinks, making it an alternative to typical
convenience store and fast feeder fountain operations.


The preparation method is certainly unique to what consumers are used to seeing.
Howard Schultz, chairman and chief global strategist, Starbucks said, “We’ve
encouraged the baristas to have fun with it. I don’t think they’re going to
be doing that Tom Cruise move from ‘Cocktail,’ but we’ve just encouraged them
to have fun.”


Moderator’s Comment: Will Starbucks be successful in
building incremental sales with its shaken refreshments? Will the new drinks
take sales away from fountain operations in convenience stores and other foodservice
outlets?


It’s hard to bet against Starbucks’ method of building
its brand and business.


Mitchell J. Speiser, a restaurant analyst at Lehman Brothers
offered this description to The New York Times, “You’ll never find cola in a
Starbucks because to them it’s not building the brand. They want to develop
a whole beverage platform that is an alternative to the traditional cola market.
They want to do it their way, to become more mainstream but not through traditional
means.”
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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