Categories Consumer, Markets, Retail

Starbucks keen on getting its brew right during holidays

After enticing customers with its Halloween-themed frappuccino, Starbucks (SBUX) is all set to make the holiday season special for coffee fans. With a resolve to ensure that guests visiting its cafes do not miss out on the fun, the company will be rolling out six holiday-special beverages this weekend, which is more than a week earlier than in the previous years.

The exclusive offerings will be priced around $20, each with multiple flavors to choose from. They will be available iced, hot or as a mix-and-match frappuccino. The initial menu will be followed up with a seventh beverage and pastries. This time, special care has been taken to make the product mix and pricing attractive to the guests. As usual, the spotlight will be on the fancy cups in which the holiday beverages are served.

In addition to the environment-friendly cups, there is an array of other gifts awaiting customers. It looks like the Washington-based coffee giant has learned a lesson from last year’s botched holiday plan that failed to excite patrons. The idea of reusable cups gels well with the go-green campaign kicked off by the company recently, with the goal of shunning conventional plastic straws in the next couple of years across all markets.

This time, special care has been taken to make the product mix and pricing attractive to the guests

The increasing focus on holidays and special occasions is part of the management’s strategy to stay relevant in the rapidly evolving fast-food landscape, where the Starbucks brand has come under pressure from mounting competition and changing consumption trends. While the company is making all efforts to woo customers back to its stores, several of its outlets are facing closure due to falling footfall.

With new finance chief on board, Starbucks restructuring heats up

Not many investors expect Starbucks to come up with impressive sales numbers when the company reports its fourth-quarter results today after the closing bell. Preliminary estimates show that US sales remain stagnant and comparable sales continue to falter in China.

After making a recovery in January, Starbucks shares remained broadly flat in the first half of the year before slipping to a multi-year low. The stock, which gained about 4% in the past twelve months, traded slightly higher in the early hours of Thursday’s regular session.


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