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 Changes Packaging

by ranfanranfan (04 Nov 2009 17:16; last edited on 14 Dec 2009 17:41)

November, 2009

Starbucks wants its cups to be 100 percent recyclable by 2012 and is recruiting the packaging and recycling industries to help it get there.

Where we are today: 58 billion paper cups used each year = 645,000 tons of waste

Removing cups would mean -2.5 million CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases = 450,000 cars off the road


Americans use about 58 billion paper cups each year. But landfills are quickly running out of space for the 645,000 tons of waste they result in. At the same time, consumers are taking notice of the foodservice industry’s growing inconvenient truth, pushing for more green alternatives to traditional packaging. The solution seems easy: Prevent the cups from going into landfills and cut back green house emissions equivalent to removing about half a million cars from the road.

There have been efforts to make cups more recyclable and eco-friendly before within the company. In 2006, Starbucks introduced a paper cup that contained 10 percent post-consumer recycled fiber, and last year it switched from the standard PET cold cups to polypropylene cold cups, which use significantly less plastic and reduce greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing by 45 percent. But today Starbucks is thinking even bigger. The new initiative to make its cups recyclable goes beyond just what the cup is made of, it takes into account the entire life of the cup.


Starbucks New Rewards Program

by ranfanranfan (02 Nov 2009 17:41; last edited on 14 Dec 2009 17:28)

November 1, 2009

Starbucks Corp is merging its rewards cards into one free program, launching the new rewards program on Dec. 26, when it also will devote all of its in-store marketing to persuading those often-infrequent visitors to become loyal members.

Under the merged program

  • New members will enter at a "welcome" level and receive a free birthday drink.
  • Registered Starbucks card users come in at the second "green" level, which offers two hours of free Wi-Fi, free brewed coffee refills and other benefits.
  • Gold card members enter at the "gold" level, which adds to the previous offers with tailored coupons and a free drink with every 15 purchased.
  • Existing Gold card members will get their same benefits for a full year after the purchase of their cards and none of the card benefits will expire before January, even if a member's benefits were due to run out, Davenport said.

"We're comfortable that we have a better program," Terry Davenport, Starbucks' senior vice president of marketing, said of the merged loyalty card program, which is called My Starbucks Rewards and launches with no annual fee.

The new program is designed to minimize confusion and eliminate the $25 annual fee attached to the Starbucks Gold card, best known for giving users 10 percent off on purchases.

Last winter, the company sold 26 million new Starbucks cards as holiday gift cards.

The Seattle-based company already has more than 2.5 million customers who have registered their Starbucks or Starbucks Gold rewards cards. Davenport hopes to one day double that number.


Supreme Bean Coffee Roasters Acquires Rocky Roaster

by ranfanranfan (02 Nov 2009 17:32; last edited on 14 Dec 2009 17:42)

October 26, 2009

The Supreme Bean Coffee Roasters of North Hollywood, California has acquired Rocky Roaster, LLC, a wholesale coffee roasting business based in Canoga Park, California.

“Rocky and I have been friendly competitors for the last twelve years, over which time I have learned to respect his talents. I look forward to having him on our team,” said Jeff Chean, Principal of The Supreme Bean Coffee Roasters.

“It just makes so much sense to join forces, combine talents and reduce overhead,” said Rhodes. “With the resources, personnel and operating efficiencies gained by joining The Supreme Bean, we can dramatically grow the Rocky Roaster brand through our wholesale and Internet sales channels, while maintaining our signature flavor profile and high quality standards.”


About The Supreme Bean Coffee Roasters

The Supreme Bean is an artisan specialty coffee roasting company based in North Hollywood, California. Consistently recognized for quality by trade publications and industry experts, including the highest-ever scored decaffeinated coffee by the venerable Coffee Review, The Supreme Bean has grown to become a leading supplier of premium specialty coffees, training and support services to businesses nationwide under The Supreme Bean, Joe to Go, Groundwork Coffee and now Rocky Roaster brands. For more information, visit

New Products

by ranfanranfan (02 Nov 2009 17:31; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 06:09)

October 25, 2009

See source for detailed information concerning these products

  • Wolfgang Puck Debuts "Next Generation CafeXpress Pod Machine"
  • Diedrich Debuts "Coffee People Donut Shop K-Cup"
  • Timothy's Introduces "Kahlua K-Cups"
  • Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee Hits OCS


Mcdonalds Coffee Decreasing in Popularity

by ranfanranfan (02 Nov 2009 17:12; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 06:05)

October 14, 2009

McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) was supposed to crush Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) in the premium coffee business when the world’s largest restaurant chain introduced a line of premium java more than a year ago, but its momentum is beginning to wear out.

New research done in September by ChangeWave shows that those surveyed were 5% more likely to buy coffee from Starbucks in the upcoming 90 days than in the 90 days just past. The figure for McDonald’s was down 3%. Starbucks almost made gains in the previous survey. The research confirms what Wall St. has suspected that the coffee store chain is doing well. Its shares are over $20, near a 52-week high and up from a period low of $7.06.


Starbucks - Comback?

by ranfanranfan (28 Oct 2009 03:02; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 06:04)

October 16, 2009

Freshman year, I recall professors using Starbucks as THE business to talk about when discussing branding. The Starbucks Experience was what attracted people to the cozy little store for their $4, $5 cup of coffee. It is obviously the customer service that differentiated Starbucks coffee. Holding the green and white cup was almost a sign of status.

Former USA Today writer Kevin Maney argues that, "In the late 1990s, Starbucks epitomized cool, and people were willing to endure long lines for its pricey coffee concoctions. But when it expanded aggressively, the Starbucks experience began to look rather mundane," Von Ahn writes.

Is that why Starbucks' traffic into U.S. stores started declining in 2007, when the economy was still expanding? Or did lattes just take a hit before everything else?

Whatever the reason, as I am observing Starbucks attempting to make a comeback with new product lines in the instant coffee industry and more attractive customer retention tactics.



by ranfanranfan (21 Oct 2009 04:48; last edited on 14 Dec 2009 17:40)

Nespresso helps people make high quality coffee at home.

The Nestlé unit is campaigning to sell premium-priced espresso machines and prepackaged coffee capsules to recession-plagued U.S. consumers

It was Nestle's reaction to the recession in March of 2009.

Starbucks Debut Decaf Instant Coffee

by ranfanranfan (21 Oct 2009 04:44; last edited on 13 Dec 2009 06:03)

Octobr 12, 2009

After the late September release of Via, Starbucks stated that it would debut a decaf instant coffee in November.

The Via Ready Brew Decaf Italian Roast will be sold in all of its U.S. company-run and licensed shops beginning on Nov. 17. The coffee will be available in pre-portioned, single-serve packets and will be sold as three-packs for $2.95 or as a 12-pack box for $10.95.


Starbucks Releases Via Instant Coffee

by ranfanranfan (17 Oct 2009 19:31; last edited on 14 Dec 2009 17:39)

October 18th, 2009

In late September, early October, Starbucks released its Via instant coffee nationwide. For a week, Starbucks locations nationwide offered free samples of its instant coffee called Via in a taste test challenge to persuade people that instant coffee can taste just as good as brewed.

The beverage, which comes in a long cylindrical plastic sleeve and dissolves in a cup of water, debuted nationwide on Sept. 28th, 2009 after months of preliminary sales in test markets.

The verdicts varied from "can't tell the difference" to negative responses. See here for a review of Via.


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