If you’ve spent much time on this website, you know that the “bold coffee” topic is one of the most discussed. This discussion has been a great source of dialog for the Beverage Team in our headquarters, and based on this we’d like to give you an update and ask for more of your creative ideas to address it.
But first, a quick bit of history if you are new to MyStarbucksIdea.com or the various online discussions around this topic.
In April we introduced a coffee called Pike Place™ Roast in the US. This new blend was developed in direct response to feedback from customers that they were looking for: 1) a consistent “every day” blend from Starbucks, and 2) coffee that has a smoother finish than some of our coffees. At the same time, we created an even better brewing experience by roasting and delivering this coffee within 14 days, grinding fresh each day in the store, and holding each brewed batch for no longer than 30 minutes. These changes have enabled us to create an even more superior coffee experience for our brewed coffee customers.
Overall sales results have been positive. Brewed coffee sales increased after the launch, and many customers have told us that they are even more satisfied with our coffee since they started drinking it. The fact that we make this coffee available all day, every day, has enabled us to deliver on the promise to offer an everyday blend. It has also been a great in-store seller as a whole bean coffee for home brewing.
However, one element of this change in how we serve brewed coffee has created some dissatisfaction. When we started brewing Pike Place™ Roast all day we stopped brewing other coffees after noon. Unfortunately, this decision upset some customers who were used to the variety and the bolder coffees previously available all day.
This issue gets to the heart of one of the key problems we face every day. Simply put, there is a wide variety of coffee taste preferences, but having every coffee (in regular and decaf, please) available all the time in every store and to hold it for no more than 30 minutes would lead to unacceptable levels of waste. For example, did you know that for every pound of coffee that gets discarded, a full tree’s worth of coffee has been wasted? At the same time we are looking for a solution that will satisfy as many people as possible. We need to please both the consumers who want a consistent, every day blend like Pike Place™ Roast and those who want variety and a “bolder” flavor profile.
We have several solutions in mind, but we want to pause for a minute and turn the problem over to you with our real-world constraints and get your ideas for this very specific problem. Here are the parameters for the ideal solution:
- We want to minimize waste—we can’t brew every kind of coffee all day long.
- Most stores can brew up to three coffees at one time.
- One of our brewers must serve decaffeinated coffee throughout the day.
- We need to please BOTH the people who enjoy Pike Place™ Roast as well as those who want more variety and other flavor profiles.
- Having the customer’s preferred coffee “at the ready” or with minimal wait times is key.
Feel free to make any suggestion you have already proposed, just make sure it fits within the above guidelines.
We will be actively monitoring and building a list of viable suggestions.
Director of Brewed Coffee