April 4, 2008

What is Starbucks planning on April 8th, 2008?

This is currently on the Starbucks website:

We're planning something big at Starbucks. Like Venti big. We can't tell you what it is because that'll ruin the surprise. Just come to any Starbucks on Tuesday, April 8, at noon Eastern to find out what it is.

Cool... I like be promotional events from major companies - especially companies that are already thriving in a strong 'cool' niche. But, I'll tell you this right now... I think I have the answer. (Spoiler alert -- stop reading if you don't want to know the answer). I'm throwing this down just in case you wanna know what it is -- maybe you can't make it to a Starbucks and you hate to be the last to know. For whatever reason, this article appeared in seattlepi.com on Feb 1st, '08:

(don't page down if you don't want to know)

Top Pot Doughnuts goes nationwide


Top Pot Doughnuts, a small Seattle chain that caught the attention of Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz more than four years ago, is going national thanks to its growing relationship with the coffee company.

On April 8, Top Pot is slated to be in all company-owned Starbucks Corp. stores in 50 states, the companies said Thursday.

"This is a big, big leap for us and something we are really proud of," said Mark Klebeck, one of Top Pot's three co-founders.

Go to http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/349616_toppot01.html for the rest of the article.

Starbucks' mission seems somewhat adrift - or at least their plans for maintaining, or even growing, market share. Granted coffee doesn't have a rep for being all that healthy, per se, but as an entity, it seems to feel healthy. It going to be stopping the breakfast sandwiches it had going for awhile, stopping any kind of pushback it may have been attempting against Dunkin' Donuts or, more likely McDonalds (as Mickey-D's is making coffee inroads with more in the future).

Starbucks has had - and does have - pastries, donuts, etc. so, now there will be better ones? Lower margin on costs? I'd guess it's easier to outsource excellence in donut technology, but overall, it's still just interesting. It's not necessarily healthy (although they are trans-fat free), but it is providing something to eat in the AM. I'll have to wait to pass judgement 'til I try one, but it seems kind of like 'bucks is throwing stuff against the wall right now.

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