Starbucks turns 40
The coffee giant is celebrating its birthday with a new logo and new menu items. Later this week, it will give out free petites samples to customers.
Four decades later, I'm willing to bet Starbucks' coffee isn't as good now. But that doesn't matter much, as the company is doing just fine with more than 15,000 stores in 50 countries. Its stock price has soared 45% in the past year to $34.28.
To celebrate its 40th birthday, Starbucks is rolling out a few changes. First, a new look in its stores and on its cups focused on its siren logo. The company removed its name from the logo, choosing instead to feature only the image of a siren, or sea nymph. Four stores in Beijing, Paris, London and New York City will unveil the new logo in their signage this week.
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Starbucks is also adding new menu items today, including a cocoa cappuccino with espresso, mocha sauce and steamed milk, and a new coffee made of four different beans called Tribute Blend.
Finally, Starbucks will begin focusing on its "petites" line of small sweets, including mini cupcakes, "cake pops" and lemon and salty caramel squares. It's giving free petites samples to customers Thursday through Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. local time.
Starbucks has more than a big birthday to celebrate. It's finally climbed out of a difficult recession, when customers simply couldn't justify paying $4 for a latte. The company was bruised by some bad real-estate decisions and had to close 900 stores and lay off employees.
But as the economy rebounded, so did Starbucks' fortunes. The company just posted a fantastic quarter, and it's announcing new products and mobile-payment plans.
Starbucks' success and game-changing presence were so powerful that the company spawned a host of imitators. And it was a big reason McDonald's (MCD) created its McCafé line -- a move that has served Mickey D's very well.
Starbucks is moving quickly to expand into grocery stores. The company already has ice cream and instant coffee. Perhaps we might soon see Starbucks-branded juices or cereal bars.
So the little store from Pike Place Market is all grown up. And the pace at which Starbucks is moving now makes me think it will do more in the next 10 years than it has in the past 40. Whether that's a good thing or not is debatable.
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Howard still doesn't get it, the new logo sucks. People expect to see what's been there since the begining. Did Maxwell house take the cup of their packaging, etc, etc, etc. Irie, there's not enought Blue Mountain coffee to cover all of Pennsylvania, let alone the country. Yup, it was indeed a moron who made the changes.
Starbucks... Look out for Irie Blue Mountain Coffee Cafe in Coatesville, Pa. This small cafe served 100 percent Jamaican Blue Mountain and excellent customer service...10 years from now Starbucks will be competing against Irie Blue Mountain Coffee.
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