You can look at the RSS Feeds I evaluated to see what helped keep me up to date on the industry.
This page contains new events from the whole semester. It is sorted in reverse order of the date that the blog entry was created.
by ranfan (13 Dec 2009 04:13; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 16:38)
December 11, 2009
Shares of Starbucks Corp. (SBUX | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating) climbed steadily until around 2:00PM on December 11. The stock was range-bound for the remainder of the afternoon, but finished up by $1.01 at $22.31 on above average volume. The coffee shop chain's shares have risen 14% since it reported quarterly profit growth on Nov. 5.
How? Fiscal fourth-quarter net income multiplied twenty-seven times to $150 million, or 20 cents a share, after the company closed stores. Revenue dropped 4% to $2.4 billion. The company's gross margin widened from 13% to 20%, and its operating margin increased from 3% to 9%. Its balance sheet is liquid, with $666 million of cash and $550 million of debt. During the past three years, Starbucks has increased revenue 8% annually, on average, as profit declined.
by ranfan (13 Dec 2009 04:09; last edited on 14 Dec 2009 17:17)
December 9, 2009
Peet's Coffee & Tea lost the race to win Diedrich Coffee, Inc.'s to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
While Peet's has built a robust business selling its coffee via its own stores, grocers and other channels, it's not in the K-Cup business. So, the acquisition of DDRX would have helped Peet's enhance its competitive position in the K-Cup single serve market. However, it could not outbid Green Mountain.
by ranfan (13 Dec 2009 04:06; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 04:16)
December 8, 2009
Health benefits are always good for the food industry. Coffeesage.com today said that Bloomburg reports that according to a recent study presented at the American Association of Cancer Research conference, coffee may lower the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. The more coffee you drink, the better the effect according to Harvard researchers.
by ranfan (13 Dec 2009 04:04; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 04:16)
December 7, 2009
Running from December 5th, Facebook members from 16 countries including the UK and the US will be presented with an ad for a Starbucks and Aids charity Red sing-along, featuring the Beatles´ song All You Need is Love, when they log into their accounts.
A number of musicians from around the world have been invited by Facebook to perform the song simultaneously, which will be filmed and streamed on a dedicated website.
People with their own video camera are also being asked to submit their own version of the song. Starbucks will make a contribution to the Global Fund for each video which is contributed to the website.
by ranfan (13 Dec 2009 04:02; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 04:02)
December 7, 2009
Peet's Coffee & Tea Inc. and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. trading bids for Diedrich Coffee Inc. coffee roaster The fight has already pushed the price to $290 million from $213 million last month.
Diedrich Coffee is licensed to make single-serving cartridges for Keurig coffee makers. Green Moutain, which owns Keurig, is trying to buy it. Diedrich, a Southern California coffee company since the 1970s, is one of the last two license holders left that have not been acquired by Green Mountain. Green Mountain's Keurig brand is the leading single-cup coffee-brewing system in the United States, and the K-Cup cartridges hold higher profit margins than what roasters get when selling whole and ground beans for use in larger coffee makers.
Peet's, the Emeryville roaster with a large chain of coffeehouses, covets Diedrich's license to make the cartridges, believing it would provide an entry into the home and office single-cup brewing market.
Mitchell Pinheiro, an analyst at Janney Capital Markets, agrees that a Green Mountain acquisition of Diedrich is unlikely to be an antitrust issue. And he believes Green Mountain will be the "winner given its ability to ultimately bid higher and the attractiveness of its all-cash offer."
Regardless of the outcome, it's clear that Diedrich shareholders have already won. The stock rose 12 cents Friday to close at $35.35. A year ago it was just 30 cents a share.
by ranfan (13 Dec 2009 03:55; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 03:55)
December 5, 2009
Starbucks has a new coffee called "flat white" drink that is smaller, stronger, less milky and served in a mug that is less overtly branded than a latte.
Why? Customers find its coffees too bland and milky. It also comes as Starbucks slowly starts to roll out shops with less corporate branding, to help it return to profit growth, after the recession caused its profits to fall over the last year.
Before you get too excited though, the flat white is only being offered in Britain, not in Starbucks in America.
by ranfan (13 Dec 2009 03:40; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 03:47)
Dec. 3, 2009 - Starbucks Corp.’s lawsuit to stop a family-owned coffee roaster in New Hampshire from selling a blend called “Charbucks” was revived after a federal appeals court vacated part of a ruling favoring the smaller company.
Starbucks, based in Seattle, sued in 2001 in federal court in Manhattan accusing Black Bear’s owner, Wolfe’s Borough Coffee Inc., of confusing consumers and diluting the value of the Starbucks brand by selling Charbucks in New England and online. Starbucks appealed after U.S. District Judge Taylor Swain dismissed the claims in June 2008.
Black Bear chose the Charbucks and Mister Charbucks names to highlight the “charred” nature of its darkest blend and to associate itself with Starbucks, according to the ruling. That doesn’t mean Black Bear did so in bad faith, or that consumers were confused, the judges wrote.
by ranfan (13 Dec 2009 03:05; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 03:48)
December 1, 2009
Starbucks has teamed up with the Product Red campaign to donate a percentage of sales on each product to Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria on December 1st (3% of retail price).
by ranfan (13 Dec 2009 02:59; last edited on 14 Dec 2009 17:19)
November 26, 2009
It's that time of year again! Starbucks has released their limited edition holiday drinks. See here for review of these drinks.
- Peppermint mocha
- Eggnog latte
- Gingerbread latte
by ranfan (13 Dec 2009 02:57; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 03:51)
November 24, 2009
Starbucks will see China become the company's next major market after the United States in the near future, the firm's China chairman said on November 24. Starbucks, whose current 2010 forecast calls for 100 net new stores in the United States and around 200 net new international cafes, has nearly 700 cafes in China.
If Starbucks can become the market leader in China's beverage market and perhaps change its premium cost strategy, it may not have to fight as hard in the US market to remain on top. The revenue in China would allow expansion of marketing strategy in the US as well.
by ranfan (13 Dec 2009 02:51; last edited on 14 Dec 2009 17:20)
November 24, 2009
Starbucks has announced plans to put its Seattle’s Best Coffee brand into more than 9,000 Subway (sandwich) stores in the US. The freshly brewed coffee will be served in the sandwich chain’s outlets by the end of 2009, with Subway planning more store openings in 2010.
by ranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:51; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 04:48)
November 19, 2009
Have you heard of Roy Street Coffee & Tea? It opened in Seattle on the 18th. The name may not sound familiar to you, but in reality, this is a Starbucks Coffee shop.
They issued a press release and proudly state on Roy Street’s Web site that it’s “Inspired by Starbucks” and “another Street Level Coffee & Tea experience.” But Roy Street also offers some non-Starbucks moments. For instance, there's beer and wine. Its interiors are also very different from Starbucks', in a good way.
This is pat of Starbucks' plan to to steer away from its culture while not letting go of opening new stores (as long as they're not Starbucks stores).
by ranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:48; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 04:29)
November 18, 2009
The second Seattle coffee shop to front Starbucks' experiment in re-branded retail opened in Capitol Hill at 6 a.m. today in Seattle.
This is Starbucks' "rebrand"
Roy Street Coffee & Tea gives customers new opportunities for discovery, a high level of interaction, and a deep connection to the local community. It shares Starbucks mission and values, is pioneered by Starbucks partners, and offers Starbucks® whole bean coffee and Tazo® full-leaf tea, delivering the same high quality with the same heart.
This coffeehouse draws design inspiration from the surrounding performing arts culture and features locally sourced, reused and recycled materials that are one-of-a-kind. It's currently registered for LEED® certification, and is the second Starbucks storefront to open as part of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Volume Certification pilot program.
by ranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:43; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 04:48)
November 12, 2009
You might be surprised by what McCafe's influence has been.
Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) Chief Executive Howard Schultz said McDonald's Corp's (MCD.N) McCafe launch earlier this year made the cafe chain better.
The CEO said the McDonald's McCafe advertising blitz prompted many coffee drinkers to compare products from the two companies. He said that benefited Starbucks.
Schultz retook the helm at Starbucks in early 2008 and began a restructuring that has involved shuttering roughly 900 stores, slashing other costs and eliminating waste.
by ranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:41; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 04:34)
November 17, 2009
Starbucks raised the prices on a number of its drinks in the Chicago area, 10 to 15 cents. That large coffee is now $2.10 (before tax). That medium is now $1.95.
In August, the Seattle-based coffee chain announced it would be raising prices nationwide, though it would happen slowly and deliberately. It did not say when this would happen or where, only that it would happen eventually. It also said it would be lowering the price on many smaller drinks. This happened in Chicago, as well. Your small coffee? It's 15 cents cheaper. Or $1.50 (before tax).
According to a Starbucks spokesperson, the company did "an extensive review" of its menu and identified areas "where we would be able to provide value for the customer and still be a profitable company." She also said the approach to price changes was "surgical," and prices may differ depending on what region of the country you're in. But generally, small "popular" drinks (brewed coffee, latte) went down 10 cents, while other sizes went up 10 to 15. She said the price hikes mainly affected those"larger, more complex drinks."
by ranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:40; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 04:37)
November 17, 2009
Starbucks teamed up with (RED) — the movement to help eradicate AIDS in Africa — and released a limited-edition album titled 'All You Need is Love.' Starting Nov. 17, customers who spend $15 at participating Starbucks throughout the US or Canada will receive a free copy of the four-track CD while supplies last. The album features special recordings by longtime (RED) advocates U2, Dave Matthews Band, John Legend and Playing for Change, who give the Beatles' 'All You Need is Love' a reggae makeover.
Starbucks will also be donating $1 to support the Global Fund for each CD that is given away. To preview the songs on 'All You Need is Love' and find out more information, visit the Starbucks Love Project.
by ranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:34; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 04:41)
November 16, 2009
Starbucks expands T-discs (not to be confused with K-cups)
Let's define some terms first.
K-cups are single servings of coffee in little plastic cups to be inserted in Keurig coffee machines. The idea is that each cup is fresh and easy to make. Many roasters make K-cups, although the technology belongs to Green Mountain.
The Motley Fool was disconcerted last summer that Starbucks hadn't yet jumped on the K-cup bandwagon — a money machine that is helping Green Mountain Coffee Roasters grow like there's no recession.
Instead of K-cups, Starbucks has T-discs, which are made in partnership with Kraft and dispensed in home machines called Tassimos, made by Bosch. Other roasters also make T-discs.
Starbucks has been relatively quiet about its T-disc partnership since unveiling it two years ago. But last March, it rolled out T-discs in Europe, and today said it will begin selling two new flavors — latte and cappuccino — in U.S. retailers in December. An eight-pack is $10.99.
For comparison, a 12-pack of Starbucks breakfast blend is $10.49, and a 24-pack of Kona Blend K-cups from Tully's Coffee is $13.95. Two other Starbucks brands — Seattle's Best Coffee and Tazo — also offer T-discs.
by ranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:34; last edited on 14 Dec 2009 17:21)
November 16, 2009
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters got good news as U.S. News & World Report cited the company's Keurig single-cup coffee as one of "10 products that boomed in the recession."
K-Cups have been doing well thanks to its Keurig single-cup brewing systems, popular in many offices and increasingly in private homes.
"Sales from the Keurig division have nearly doubled since last year, and Green Mountain's overall revenue has increased 86 percent during the recession, according to Capital IQ. Green Mountain's stock has been wired, too, rising nearly 190 percent since the start of 2008."
by ranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:26; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 04:44)
November 13, 2009
McDonald's big new beverage blitz — espresso-based coffee drinks, smoothies and frappes — is on track in test markets to exceed its sales goals, the head of McDonald's U.S. operations told stock analysts Thursday.
McDonald's beverage offensive, its biggest new product launch in decades, began in regional test markets in 2006 and went national in May, accompanied by a big ad campaign for its McCafe coffee drinks.
Year to date through October, McDonald's overall U.S. coffee sales are up 28 percent over the same time a year ago, and more than 90 percent of that gain stems from McCafe drinks. Those drinks include all hot and iced espresso-based beverages, as well as hot chocolate.
The next elements of the beverage offensive, smoothies and frappes, are being rolled out regionally or in test markets, and both drinks are expected to be widely available by midsummer 2010.
by ranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:25; last edited on 14 Dec 2009 17:33)
November 13, 2009
Starbucks' new release of Via has brought some of its employees unhappiness. According to BNET, it has been aggressively training its employees to sell the instant coffee product.
BusinessWeek is running a story on how Via sales pitches have gotten so intense that both baristas and customers are complaining.
Some comments from employees include:
“This is the most stressful promotion I have ever experienced, and I’ve been with the company for seven years,”
Another employee blogged that Starbucks baristas “were just told to place a Via 12-pack in the customer’s hand while asking if they would ‘like to add some Via to their order.’
This sort of aggressive pitching is not in line with how the baristas see themselves, which is as more like bartenders than salespeople. Nor is it likely to win over customers, who are expressing exasperation on their own blogs.