Starbucks launches healthy breakfasts as first salvo in ‘Billion-Dollar’ revival
Oatmeal, bran muffins and protein plates to create key differentiator as cut-price rivals push into the coffee market.
September 4, 2008 9:04 by kippreport
Starbucks launches its new healthier breakfast today in the US, with CEO Howard Schultz promising a billion dollar bump to the company’s fortunes. If successful, expect the start-to-the-day changes to roll out to the Middle East within the year.
Breakfast now centers around oatmeal, apple bran muffins and a protein plate – items with fewer than 350 calories, and, says Advertising Age, with the exception of the protein plate, less than 10 grams of fat.
Starbucks spokeswoman Lisa Passe said customers were looking for a way to make “purposeful additions” to their diets, not just take away calories, fat and sugar. A key part of the program is the products’ portability. Healthier foods have often hit roadblocks in the quick-service industry in part because they are perceived as less convenient.
The move is key differentiator as McDonalds and Dunkin’ Donuts push into the coffee market with cut-price – but less than healthy food choices.
The health trend is sustainable, say industry analysts.
“We’re starting to see a trend in much healthier fare in restaurants that are opening, more specifically focusing on healthy, organic and natural sourcing furthering the treatment of animals,” said Darren Tristano, exec VP of Technomic. “It seems like in a difficult economic environment like this, if the trend is growing, it has legs.”
Starbucks stores have posted signage pushing three food and beverage combinations: oatmeal with a vanilla latte; apple bran muffin with coffee; and a low-fat latte with a berry stella, a star-shaped, whole-grain pastry with fruit baked on top. In addition to the three focal items, Starbucks has also added a nut bar, a whole-grain roll served with fruit spreads, and a “protein power plate” featuring a hard-boiled egg, bagel, peanut butter and cheese, to its menu.