Ongoing Events

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.

Starbucks Survived With Love

by ranfanranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:23; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:00)

November 14, 2009

Starbucks has been on the rise in the last couple week and CEO Schultz contribute it to love.

Upon his return to Starbucks, Schultz said a decision was made to return to what made the company great: “We knew we had to go back to the core purpose of what we stand for: A people-based business.”

“Anyone can open up a coffee store, but the essence of our company has always been our guiding principals,'' Schultz said.

To get back on track, Starbucks admitted it made mistakes and, as it began to navigate through the first headwinds of recession, told employees everyone had to put their oar in the water.

But even as McDonald entered as competition and announced it would spend $150 million in advertising, and the world decided McDonald's would “kill Starbucks,'' Schultz said, “McDonald's made us better.”

Starbucks took to the Web, and ultimately became the “No. 1 brand on Facebook and Twitter,” according to Shultz. Today, Starbucks views social media as more than an art form.

The company also considered other massive cuts but the CEO would not allow cuts in areas such as employee health care.

However, layoffs were announced to make Starbucks more efficient.

Even for a company that's been around in the market as long as Starbucks, it is clear that they cannot stand still. They have to continue innovating in order to remain strong.


Mcdonald To Exceed Expectations

by ranfanranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:21; last edited on 14 Dec 2009 17:21)

November 16, 2009

McDonald's upgraded coffee blitz — espresso-based coffee drinks, smoothies and frappes — is on track to exceed the company's goals, president of U.S. Operations Don Thompson told the Chicago Tribune.

McDonald's kicked off its beverage offensive nationwide this past May, accompanied by a large-scale advertising campaign for the company's "McCafe" drinks.

Year-to-date through October, McDonald's U.S. coffee sales are up 28 percent over the same period from 2008, and more than 90 percent of that increased has been attributed to McCafe drinks.

McDonald's will continue its beverage offensive, rolling out smoothies and frappes regionally and in test markets, with both drinks widely available nationwide by next summer.


Caribou Ad Backfiring

by ranfanranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:16; last edited on 14 Dec 2009 17:22)

November 12, 2009

Remember the post about Caribou drink ad? see here

Here's what the ad "says"

The chocolate drink in the new ad for Caribou Coffee looks mighty yummy. It's piled high with whipped cream and studded with chocolate shavings. In Caribou's "Get Real: Chocolate" ad, a pair of obnoxious marionettes sitting on a bench in a mall, wonder why they never get to drink anything as tasty as that Caribou mocha.

"Because we're not real," says the annoying male marionette to the annoying female marionette.

Instead, the ad uses a tortured visual metaphor that distracts the viewer from drooling over the drink to puzzling over the ad's logic. The marionettes are supposed to represent snobs. The coffee cups by their sides have round, green logos that suggest Starbucks — even though there's not a coffee snob alive who doesn't call the stuff "Charbucks." When the snobs notice the Caribou drink, they desire it. So why can't they buy one? Don't snobs just take what they want and immediately adjust their rationale to fit? If their snobbery makes them drink inferior brands of coffee, then they're not really snobs. Fools, maybe. The snobby guy marionette says that the reason they can't have the clearly superior drink is because "we're not real." So … they aren't coffee snobs? They're phantoms? If snobbery means you're not "real," then why is Caribou playing the snob card, too, by declaring that its chocolate coffee drinks are superior?

This ad's indirect attack on Starbucks has bought it more pain than good.

Source & Source

Green Starbucks

by ranfanranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:15; last edited on 14 Dec 2009 17:24)

November 12, 2009

Starbucks says that it is switching to LEDs. The coffee chain says that it's swapping out conventional bulbs for LEDs in 8,000 of its stores. The swap will save each store nearly 10% in electricity consumption.

The LED light swap will cut energy consumption by about 7% at each store, and is part of the company's goal to cut total energy consumption by 25% by the end of 2010. The LED lights are a special design from General Electric that meets the aesthetic and design criteria of Starbucks. That, on top of the expensive price tag of LEDs, makes this a bigger green move than it appears for Starbucks.

The company isn't often on this side of green when it comes to operations. A year ago they were in hot water for wasting 6 million gallons of water a day, all for a very lame policy for cleanliness. However, they have been trying hard to be eco-friendly, including starting BICEP, Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, switching to hormone-free milk, and getting more serious about fair trade coffee.

Other articles commenting on this new "Green Starbucks"

Maximus Coffee Group

by ranfanranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:14; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:11)

November 10, 2009
Carlos de Aldecoa, "the Coffee King," seems too young to be the head of the largest privately held coffee concern in America.

de Aldecoa family's Maximus Coffee Group has a long tradition. His grandfather Carlos started the family coffee business in Spain in the 1920s and fled to Mexico during the Spanish Civil War. His father, also named Carlos, started a decaffeination plant in Mexico. Young Carlos came to Houston to attend Strake Jesuit High School and earned an engineering degree at the University of Houston. In the late 1990s, the family bought the old Uncle Ben's Rice facility on Clinton Drive and turned it into a world-class coffee plant.

You can read more about this family plant here. Maximum Coffee Group is just as important to the industry as Starbucks of McCafe.

Caribou Takes Shot At Starbucks

by ranfanranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:13; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:14)

November 12, 2009

Caribou Coffee will launch its first-ever TV campaign tomorrow with an approach that pokes fun at its biggest rival, Starbucks, which they protray as snobby.

"The marionettes are a fun, lighthearted way to drive home the point that Caribou Coffee uses real ingredients," said Eric Husband, group creative director, Colle & McVoy, which created the spot. "But it goes beyond ingredients. Walk into any Caribou Coffee and there's this very real, genuine vibe — it's what separates them from competitors. We wanted to convey this authenticity of the Caribou Coffee brand."

This is likely just the beginning of new marketing moves from Caribou, the nation's second-largest coffee chain, which tapped Colle & McVoy to handle its entire brand identity back in February. The agency is looking at everything from package design to store experience. The chain is planning a raft of new food items as well, including new bakery options and oatmeal.

The spot will have a six-week cable TV run in major markets, and it will be promoted on YouTube and the chain's own website.


Starbucks And Nascar

by ranfanranfan (30 Nov 2009 17:01; last edited on 14 Dec 2009 17:25)

November 11, 2009

The Starbucks coffee chain will make its NASCAR debut this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing by serving as an associate sponsor on EGR’s No. 1 Sprint Cup Chevrolet driven by Martin Truex Jr., and samples of the company’s products will be available throughout the weekend.

Beginning Nov. 13, a fleet of Starbucks-branded golf carts will comb the track property passing samples out of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, a new instant coffee.


Starbucks Complains Against Costa Coffee

by ranfanranfan (11 Nov 2009 17:19; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:28)

November 9, 2009


Starbucks Coffee Company filed a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) against rival coffee chain Costa Coffee. The Seattle-based coffee company accused its UK competitor of running a deceptive advertising campaign.

Back in March 2009, Costa Coffee launched its first national ad campaign which specifically targeted Starbucks. The ads, based on a survey of 334 coffee shop users, claimed "7 out of 10 coffee lovers prefer Costa". In one version, used on posters, newspapers and online, the ad went so far as to declare: "Sorry Starbucks, The People Have Voted". It was only in the fine print that Costa pointed out that the “7 out of 10” claim related only to a Costa cappuccino compared to a Starbucks or Cafe Nero cappuccino.

In the ASA complaint, Starbucks alleged that the seven out of 10 claim was misleading because cappuccinos only reflect a small proportion of products sold in its coffee stores. The Times reported that Starbucks also argued the ads “could be understood as a preference claim against all coffee drinks or even more widely as a claim against all aspects of its business including store ambiance."

According to The Times, the ASA has concluded in a draft report that Costa’s campaign "fails to pass muster on a number of points", although the final adjudication would not be known for a number of weeks.


Starbucks CoBrands With MSNBC

by ranfanranfan (11 Nov 2009 17:14; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:30)

November 16, 2009

Starbucks co-brands coffee with MSNBC's Morning Joe show and Starbucks has added "Morning Joe Edition" to the name of its Gold Coast Blend.

To promote the renamed blend and encourage volunteerism, Starbucks and Morning Joe will air a special segment from a school in New Orleans on Friday, Nov. 20, and co-host a day of community service on Saturday, Nov. 21, to encourage viewers, employees and customers to volunteer. They've partnered with the HandsOn Network to help people find opportunities in their areas.

Source & Source

Coffee Predicting Economy Rebound

by ranfanranfan (11 Nov 2009 17:08; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:37)

November 9, 2009


Although McDonald had basically roughly sales, its McCafe espresso-based coffee drinks did well

Starbucks posted higher quarterly profit — and it wasn't just from cost cutting. Traffic at stores is improving.

McDonald's and Starbucks have been locked in battle with consumers paring back luxury spending. Starbucks has been trying to keep its customers coming in. McDonald's has been looking to poach some customers from other coffee shops while converting existing customers to premium beverages.

Perhaps the strength in fancy coffee drinks signifies something more. No matter where it's purchased, a latte is more luxurious than a plain cup of coffee. It's a little treat. Maybe consumers are easing back into splurge mode.

If purchases of high-end beverages means the consumer has turned a corner, maybe peaceful co-existence can emerge in place of coffee wars.


Analysis Of Starbucks Growth

by ranfanranfan (11 Nov 2009 17:07; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:38)

From Seeking Alpha:


Starbucks (SBUX) is going to be a larger company 3, 5, and 10 years from now. The main reason Starbucks will grow is because coffee and tea are both enormous markets, domestically and globally. Second, Starbucks has low penetration rates in terms of the number of locations it has, especially in the BRIC countries. Finally, Starbucks has nice potential for growth in packaged coffee, ready to make beverages, and the instant coffee markets, especially internationally.

read the rest here

Starbucks Rebrands Coffee

by ranfanranfan (11 Nov 2009 17:06; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:33)

November 9, 2009

Starbucks has given one of its best-selling coffees a new name and packaging. The move comes as the coffee giant looks to increase awareness of its community volunteerism efforts.

Gold Coast Blend—sold since 1987 and considered Starbucks’ “biggest and most flavorful blend,” per the company—has been renamed to Gold Coast Blend: Morning Joe Edition. The naming is not coincidental. Starbucks earlier this year announced a partnership with MSNBC's Morning Joe talk show, and charity-themed events were part of that deal.

To promote the product, Starbucks and MSNBC have teamed up to launch “Brewing Together Day of Service,” a call-to-action campaign kicking off on Nov. 21, which encourages Starbucks and Morning Joe fans to volunteer in their communities. HandsOn Network, the nation’s largest volunteer organization, is assisting interested individuals in finding volunteer opportunities. (Starbucks last year pledged to donate one million community service hours by 2015; so far, it hit the 246,000 mark.)

Starbucks sees the initiative as the next step in its MSNBC Morning Joe sponsorship. “It’s an honor to be a co-sponsor of 'Brewing Together Day of Service' and to help bring communities together to inspire change while making a difference in people’s lives,” Burrows, of Starbucks, said. “It’s what Starbucks has always believed in—being a good neighbor and doing things that are good for each other and the planet.”


Starbucks More Customers And More Spending

by ranfanranfan (06 Nov 2009 03:13; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:25)

November 6, 2009

Starbucks' 4Q forecasts suggest that consumers continued to increase their number of visits and spending per visit in the quarter to September 27. Seattle-based Starbucks made a net profit of $150 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $5.4 million last year, despite a 4 per cent fall in revenue to $2.4 billion.

Revenue was impacted by the stronger dollar, a 1 per cent fall in sales at comparable outlets and the fact that the company had 385 fewer stores than in the same quarter of 2008.

But Starbucks still faces strong competition from rivals such as McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts, which have improved their cafe-style offerings.

Starbucks is undergoing cost-cutting: the company saved $210 million in the fourth quarter after wasting fewer products and making its workforce more efficient. It took a $53.2 million restructuring charge to finish leases early on unwanted stores.


Starbucks Positive Q4 Performance

by ranfanranfan (06 Nov 2009 03:12; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:17)

Starbucks stock soars on fourth-quarter profit boost

Investors sent Starbucks shares up quickly after it posted a fourth-quarter profit of $150 million,or 20 cents a share, better than analysts had expected and a vast improvement from its $5.4 million profit during the fourth quarter last year. It had a 4 percent drop in sales, to $2.4 billion, which it more than made up for with $580 million in annualized cost cuts. That's $30 million better than it had promised to Wall Street. For the quarter, operating expenses were down 11 percent to $2.3 billion.

The quarter included $53 million in restructuring charges, compared with $99 million in the fourth quarter last year. Without the charges, Starbucks would have earned 24 cents a share, better than the 21 cents that analysts expected, according to Thomson Reuters.


Caribou Coffee Posts Profits

by ranfanranfan (06 Nov 2009 03:03; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:21)

November 4, 2009

The nation's largest publicly-traded coffee shop chain after Starbucks, Caribou posted a third-quarter profit of $654,000, an improvement from the third quarter a year ago, when it lost $8.7 million.

Net sales were up 3 percent to $62.7 million for the Brooklyn Center, Minn.-based chain, which ended the quarter with 525 shops. None are in Washington.


McDonalds Earning Up

by ranfanranfan (04 Nov 2009 17:48; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:19)

Oct 23, 2009
McDonald’s 3rd-quarter same-store sales, profit jump.

McDonald’s stock rose $1.17, or 2 percent, to $59.50. The stock traded as high as $60.60 in the morning before U.S. expectations for October were disclosed in a conference call with stock analysts.

Overall, McDonald’s reported third-quarter earnings of $1.26 billion, or $1.15 per share, up 11 percent from $1.19 billion, or $1.05 a share, a year earlier. The latest results beat analysts’ average estimates by 4 cents per share. Revenue was $6.05 billion, down from $6.3 billion a year ago and a bit short of analysts’ estimates, due in part to currency fluctuations.


Starbucks TV Ad

by ranfanranfan (04 Nov 2009 17:46; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:41)

November 3, 2009

Watch TV ad about Starbucks' tie-up with the Product Red campaign.

Starbucks TV ad to push charity partnership. Starbucks is to launch its first TV advertising campaign since launching in the UK more than a decade ago. The US coffee giant, which last month began a multimillion-pound push to promote its tie-up with the Fairtrade movement, is using the TV campaign to push more ethical values.

The commercial focuses on Starbucks' tie-up with Product Red, the initiative backed by Bono to tackle Aids in Africa.

Starbucks officially announced the tie-up with Red in the UK earlier this month in a deal that sees a cut of sales of certain products contribute to the global fund. Customers have to pay with a Starbucks Red card for a 5p contribution to be made.


Starbucks Wifi System

by ranfanranfan (04 Nov 2009 17:40; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 06:30)

November 3, 2009

My Starbucks Rewards program is coming in December?

Starbucks is revising its stored-value affinity card programs, making it easier harder to get free Wi-Fi. Starbucks ties two consecutive hours per day of no-cost Wi-Fi to purchases made using a stored-value card.

In the new system, called My Starbucks Rewards, The new card FAQ says that you remain active at the green level for two years following your last transaction.

Essentially, Starbucks is consolidating its different card programs into one program on Dec. 26. Each drink transaction will net you a star, and five stars qualifies you for two hours of free, daily Wi-Fi. Here’s where it gets interesting:

“After five transactions, you’re boosted into the Green Level — green being Starbucks’ corporate color — and you qualify for the daily Wi-Fi allotment with no further purchases. In fact, the FAQ says that you remain active at the green level for two years following your last transaction. So those that want the two-hours-a-day Wi-Fi without purchasing drinks need only prime the pump lightly.”

Overall, the program seems very confusing, hopefully the details will clear out as it gets closer to the release day.

source and [ source]

Starbucks Mini Reward Card

by ranfanranfan (04 Nov 2009 17:38; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:45)

November 17, 2009


The new Starbucks mini-card created by Project Runway alum Christian Siriano makes a great stocking stuffer for coffee-fiend fashionistas. The card was inspired by mod style, contemporary drama and Christian’s love of theatrical fantasy.

“One of the things I love about fashion is that it can change the way you feel inside and out. Put on a fabulous little something and you feel like a new lady! Giving back is the same – it changes what’s going on in your life because it changes what’s going in your heart. It’s true, people! This year, the Card design that I created with Starbucks is all about putting the spirit of fashion and giving into your life for the Holidays. And maybe a Frappuccino Blended beverage, too. I can’t get enough of those,” said Siriano.

The Christian Siriano Mini Starbucks Card will be available in participating stores on November 17, 2009.


Merger To Become Starbuck's Competitor

by ranfanranfan (04 Nov 2009 17:37; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 05:55)

November 3, 2009

Two coffee companies which sell their products online and through retailers are merging - Diedrich (NASDAQ:DDRX) will be bought by Peet’s NASDAQ:PEET) for $26 a share or $213 million. The consideration is well above Diedrich’s current price of just over $20.

Diedrich sells it single serving products and beans through restaurants, stores, and coffeehouses. Peet’s sells coffee and tea through restaurants and food services establishments and also sells coffee and tea makers. Neither firm has a chain of stores like Starbucks does, but each competes with the Starbucks branded coffees sold in grocery stores and super markets.

The coffee industry is coming back to life as many company's stock prices rise. We'll have to see how this new merger and players like McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) and Dunkin’ Donuts ultimately impact Starbucks.


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