Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and his cohort got on a conference call with analysts shortly after the company announced its $100 million acquisition of San Francisco bakery chain La Boulange.He revealed something very important regarding the future of food at Starbucks, though he declined to go into too much detail.
A J.P. Morgan analyst asked Schultz if there’s an “opportunity to finish baking off any of these products in store — in maybe some of your larger outlets?“
“Yes. Well, John, when I described earlier about the “new methodology,” there is going to be a completely different way in which we’re going to be presenting food.
And the finishing off of the product — without getting too specific — is going to be very apparent to our customers.
It’s going to drive a completely different level of food awareness, food attraction and obviously we strongly believe in incrementality as a result of the way that we will demonstrate romance and deliver fresh food for our customers, in ways that we have not done in 40 years.”
What’s all of that mean? Well, coupled with the big acquisition, Schultz appears to be hinting at in-store baked items at Starbucks, which would be a very important step for the business.
It has tested baking on-site before. Starbucks-owned Seattle’s Best recently experimented with freshly baked cookies and muffins at a concept store.
Starbucks Melody points out that Starbucks once had a partnership with Schwarz Brothers, whose vans would deliver fresh-baked fare. It also had a partnership with La Brea bakery in a few Los Angeles locations last year.
This is certainly something to watch.
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