La Boulange at Starbucks
Melissa Allison of the Seattle Times wrote in May
"The first new pastries debuted in Bay Area Starbucks this spring and are set to roll out at 348 stores in Seattle on June 4. (Cafes at the airport and in some grocery stores will not have the food yet.) Other cities will follow until coverage is nationwide by August 2014."
Today was the first I heard of the La Boulange shift at Starbucks when I asked my roommate why her coffee sleeve was pink and frilly. Being an Three-Coffees-A-Day Starbucks card fan girl she was pissed.
I think the goal here is clear, Starbucks says it themselves on their website “Its time to start thinking of Starbucks for great food”.
But here’s my question— Were they not already being thought of for this?
Obviously they felt there was room to grow or they would not have attempted this transition but it will be interesting to see how many loyal customers complain or leave Starbucks because they miss the old food, the old Starbucks. The food at Starbucks has always been decadent, overpriced, and delicious and I dont see that changing. Are the huge margins on their enormously popular coffee not enough?
Does this matter? The Seattle based company chose to take on a bakery that was a local favorite of California, losing all the power its brand story had and moving further into a negatively connoted corporate brand in the minds of consumers.
This allocation truly confuses me. All I hear from this little pink sleeve is "stop buying as much coffee" and “we want more of your money”.