Happy New Year from the Food Team!

After enjoying our tasty holiday treats, we are ready to jump into the New Year, full of fresh ideas. One popular idea is for Starbucks to offer more gluten-free options.

We’ve started doing some operational testing in a select number of our stores and the baristas & customers who participated were psyched about the idea. One barista shared, “Out of all the tests we’ve done, this one feels like we’re doing the most for the customer!” Before we continue moving forward, we would love some feedback from you about what you want to see in gluten-free offerings.

Here are a few questions we have for you:

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?
• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?
• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?
• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?
• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

We appreciate your feedback and are excited to continue moving gluten-free forward.

In regards to packaged food products, we currently offer a gluten-free Amaretti Cookie available on the retail shelves. We continue to explore what other fresh food and packaged food to offer at Starbucks.  Thanks for sharing your ideas. 

Cheers,
Starbucks Food Team



Jayhawk2000
1/8/2009 9:54 AM

GF stuff needs to be easily labeled. We don't like to trust that the baristas will know which ones are gluten free and which are not. Also, if someone didn't know you carried GF items, they probably wouldn't ask. The signs would be good advertising.

The GF items must be separated from the non-GF items in order to prevent cross-contamination. Some people cannot even tolerate a few crumbs of gluten.

GF foods are always more expensive, so I doubt anyone would complain, as long as the prices are reasonable.

As for the items, I would say a GF version of anything you already carry would be excellent!

Thanks!

jrroche
1/8/2009 9:58 AM

I don't know what gluten-free products would be good, as I am not allergic to wheat and delight in consuming as much of it as possible, but I can try and answer the other questions.

Unpackaged is basically always better because it at least appears fresher (although packaged may actually be fresher).

I think since gluten-free stuff has become so popular, it would be a good idea to promote it with a sign.

I would put them in the pastry case with everything else.

I think people are used to alternative foods costing more so they would probably understand.

sprite
1/8/2009 11:09 AM

I just wanted to include a quick note that I think it is awesome that we'd be considering getting GF items, as that is starting to become a larger health concern and good for us to look at getting on board with.

It would be very important that the items be clearly labeled as such, as that would make it clear to the customer that it is a GF item, and that would keep the customer from having to ask if the item is safe for them to someone who while they should know, might not know if it is or not.

However, I'd like to also state that it is equally important to get more items that are dairy free. Lactose intolerance is almost as prevalent as those who require GF foods.

Please consider looking into dairy free pastries for all markets. The only option in my market is a muffin, and if they are gone by 2pm as is typical then I am unable to enjoy a pastry with my visit and it is frustrating and disappointing that I'm barred from delicious pastries because I can't have butter which is in almost everything we have.

Thanks! Good luck with GF products! It is a good idea.

ChrisJoyTea
1/8/2009 11:40 AM

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores? muffins, breads, sandwiches

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged? individually packaged.

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?  See it na sign, the food should be labeled.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?  pastry case.

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version? Absolutely.

Celiac Mom NV
1/8/2009 12:15 PM

As someone who must eat gluten free, I would be thrilled if Starbucks offered GF items.  To help promote the items, you could invite the local GF/Celiac support group to the store to sample the items.  The word will spread quickly!

I would like to see muffins or other pastry items.  It MUST be individually packaged to prevent cross contamination and it MUST be clearly labeled.

Some of the items currently offered could be gluten free with simple changes; i.e.; cheese tray would be GF if the bread or crackers were wrapped or offered seprately, same with the fruit tray.

Education of the employees is also very important.  There is nothing worse that ingesting gluten because someone "thought" it was ok because they didn't see the word 'Wheat' on the label.

Anything GF costs more, I don't think anyone would complain.

I enjoy going to Starbucks and would be very happy if I could eat something with my tea.

Thank you for asking us!

ebarbone
1/8/2009 12:56 PM

I am SO excited to see this post! It would be amazing if Starbucks had gluten-free/allergen-safe options.

To answer your questions:

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?

It would be *great* to have a gluten-free quick bread or cookie that was prepared in a gluten-free environment and packaged to ensure cross-contamination does not occur in the stores.

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?

To keep gluten-free foods safe from wheat-based items, they should be packaged.

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?

Signs are great! I've learned that many of my readers don't like to "advertise" they are gluten-free or they will assume that gluten-free options aren't available. So, a sign proudly proclaiming, "Gluten-Free" would be great!

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?

I'd like to see them displayed wherever they would be safe from cross-contamination from gluten-filled items.

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

Yes, of course!

Also, it would be great if Starbucks had gluten-free information about their drinks available at the store level.

I am a Starbucks Duetto member and have found that many baristas have no idea what is gluten-free and what isn't.

Thanks for asking! If you have any more questions, I would love to talk to you about your possible gluten-free offerings!

Elizabeth Barbone

Author, Easy Gluten-Free Baking

Owner, GlutenFreeBaking.com

SavvyCeliac
1/8/2009 1:06 PM

It is great that Starbucks is considering gluten-free items at their stores.  

As you are hearing, separate packaging is key -- eliminates cross contamination and will preserve food better.

If you are going to market to a GF audience, you'd better educate your staff about the diet, cross contamination and the products available as well as ingredients in drinks.  Because the more gluten-free people come in, likely the more questions employees will get.  They should be prepared for this.

Amy Leger

thesavvyceliac.com

julianeb
1/8/2009 2:57 PM

Please listen to posters who DO have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, and separate gluten-free items from those with gluten.  Leave the wrappers on the gluten-free items to keep them safe from random crumbs.  Be sure the ingredients are clearly marked on the wrappers.  

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?  Anything you have in a glutenous product - muffins, cookies, crumb cakes, brownies, even sandwiches!  Whatever you can stock - we'll welcome!

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?  It MUST be packaged to safeguard it from cross-contact (crumbs).

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?  Signage is important!  Advertising is always good - some celiacs might not make it a habit to go to Starbucks but if they heard a radio spot that y'all have GF stuff, they'd go.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?  Everywhere!  

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?   Well....I hate to break it to you, but Starbucks ain't cheap to start with, so yeah, we're ready for the wallet slap!  :)

Thank you for doing this!  My teenage son LOVES Starbucks and it would thrill him to death to be able to zip in, grab a latte and a GF muffin!

kochac22
1/8/2009 3:41 PM

What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?

Any type of tasty baked good would be great - scone, muffin, cookie, etc.

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?

Packaged. That way I'd feel a lot more confident that it was uncontaminated.

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?

A sign seems to me like it would be the easiest way to announce availability to everyone who walks in and looks for a snack.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?

In the pastry case, because that's where I would look for something to eat while I'm waiting in line.

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

I understand, although obviously the lower the price, the more likely I am to buy something more often. :-)

Momiji
1/8/2009 5:09 PM

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?

Yummy pastries :-D

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?

Packaged

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?

Signs and baristas

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?

Pastry case with some signage so people would know which items are GF

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

How much more are ya talkin, Evan? LOL

BTW, I don't need the GF items but am happy that they will be there.

Also, I haven't seen those cookies that you showed.

nowheat4me
1/8/2009 5:45 PM

I would like to see gluten free pastries, cookies, etc.

I would like them individually packaged so no risk of cross contamination.

I would like signs, I don't want to depend on a Barista

I would like the pastries, etc. placed alone so no cross contamination issues.

Higher prices are a way of life with gluten free items, use to it.

duckling08
1/8/2009 6:07 PM

First of all, I'm thrilled at the idea of Starbucks offering some GF stuff.  It's hard when I'm out with people and can't pick up a snack like they do.

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?  

    I think a GF version of much of what you carry now would be nice.  Baked goods and sandwiches would be freat.  Even without that, it would be nice to have something that can be easily changed, such as a fruit and cheese plate without any bread.

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?

    I definitely wouldn't be comfortable buying unpackaged GF stuff right next to unpackaged 'regular' food.  Too much risk of cross contamination for me to be willing to eat it.

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?

    I think it's really important that you make a big fuss about it when you start to carry GF products (notice how I say when, not if).  Put signs up, because most of us won't think to ask, but also have the barristas say something like, "would you like to try some of our new gluten-free snacks?"  It would even be helpful, as someone else said, to get in touch with local support groups.  We are a tight community and word will spread, good or bad.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?

    The best bet would be to put things in the case with the rest of the food.  That's where I always look when I'm waiting in line.

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

    I would totally understand that if it was a specialty gluten-free product it would cost a bit more.  On the other hand, if it was something like the cheese tray without any bread, it should cost less.

Thanks again for working on this.  Believe me there is a HUGE market for GF goodies, especially those on the go.  As someone else said, make sure your employees are educated about gluten-free products.  It will make it a lot easier for customers to trust the products.

psych523
1/8/2009 9:24 PM

I would like to see some sort of muffin or similar sweet baked goods (banana bread, etc).  I would prefer that they are wrapped to prevent cross contamination.  They must be well labeled-- customers don't want to wait in line to ask if a product is available, to find out it's not.  The pastry case is a perfect location.  Baristas must be well-trained regarding gluten-free and cross contamination.   A slight increase in cost is okay, but obviously the more affordable the more likely I will purchase it regularly.   The Grainless Baker sells great, relatively affordable, muffins (www.thegrainlessbaker.com) and they supply their products to restaurants.  

docmom100
1/9/2009 4:03 AM

I would like to see gluten free baked goods - muffins, cookies, fruit and nut breads, etc.  Though it would be wonderful if they could be unpackaged, the only way we would feel confident that they were in fact gluten free and safe from cross contamination was if they were PREPACKAGED.  It would also be nice to have some gluten free hot chocolate packets, coffee and tea that was clearly labeled and cups that were sealed in something as to prevent contact with crumbs, etc. from staff/customers who might be handling gluten containing items while serving beverages.  

We know that gluten free items are often more expensive and would be willing to pay more for them.  I would expect most beveragest not to be more expensive, just pre-screened for gluten and protected from cross contamination.

Good employee education is critical!

Thanks so much for asking!

bucconeer
1/9/2009 4:19 AM

It would be great if Starbucks had gluten free items. In addition to the muffins, etc., that have already been mentioned, I'd like to see biscotti (I bring my own now). And the salads that some of your stores offer can be made gluten free by keeping the croutons in separate packages.

The items need to be individually packaged to avoid cross-contamination, and they should be placed with similar gluten-containing items (pastries with pastries, salads with salads, etc.) with SIGNS indicating the availability of gluten free items and each one should be clearly labeled "gluten free."

We EXPECT them to cost more (at least for the baked goods -- the salads, etc. should already be gluten free, so they shouldn't cost extra), so as long as it's not TOO much more, people will buy them.

iola
1/9/2009 4:53 AM

I rarely buy expensive Starbucks coffee.  However, if I knew they had gluten-free cookies, pastries, etc, I would definitely go there.  I have celiac disease, so I would have to feel assured that there was no chance of cross-contamination.  If the gf items were sitting in the case with the wheat-based foods, I would not consider buying them.  I would prefer them to be individually wrapped.  If they were warmed, I would want the person serving them to take great care to prevent contamination.  Sineage would definitely be a plus.  Otherwise, how would anyone know about it?

auntval26
1/9/2009 5:10 AM

Thank you so much for doing this.  I would like to see the Gluten free items individually wrapped (helps with cross contamination) in the case and would like to see a sign showing which items are gluten free.  The baristas should also know about the items too.  I would love to see muffins, cookies, brownies.  I would be willing to pay a slightly higher prices.

erinsmom
1/9/2009 5:27 AM

Gluten free muffins and brownies  are so easy to make and taste great if the right flour blend is used.  Large cookies would also be nice.  There are many gf bakeries out there with wonderful gf products that would probably jump at the opportunity to be sold at Starbucks.  The items could either be packaged....or better yet....in the case under a dome ...gf needs to be physically separated to avoid the cross contamination...Please put a sign out...I buy anything that says Gluten free just to support the cause...we get so tired of reading labels...you could charge more for GF...believe me...we are so used to paying the extra money for convenience and anyone who is willing to pay the price for the coffee shouldn't balk at the price of a gf muffin....I was just in Starbucks yesterday and was planning to email today to make this very suggestion...I hope you consider starting in PA...feel free to contact me for suggestions on suppliers or baking tips

decafplease
1/9/2009 5:33 AM

What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?

Cookies, muffins and sandwiches

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?

Definitely packaged to avoid the risk of cross contamination

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products?

Signs!  Otherwise, people might not be aware -- or even believe the items are truly gluten-free.  There is a lot of misinformation about what's gluten-free or not, so it's best to see it in print.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?

Anywhere that it is kept safe from contamination and is clearly marked.

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

Sure, but don't go true crazy!

Thanks for considering this!

Decaffeinated in Minneapolis

sandraprint
1/9/2009 5:34 AM

Since I have been dignosed celiac no store was able to advise that  you had anything gluten free and when in doubt we leave it out. If you truly have gluten free optoins now you lost $1277.50 in revuene in 08 for undereducated baristers so if you are truly "expanding" your gluten free line, then you need to start with education on what is currently gluten free first. then some whoopie pies would be nice of course if you could control cross contamination. Maybe a bakery in maine can hep with that one, I thnks there is one in Wells that makes them gluten free alreay and O've heard nothing but rave reviews.  And a Cold Vanilla Creme would be nice too, I used to suck down the vanilla bean frappachino, but not since going gluten free. Good luck.

picklesby
1/9/2009 6:44 AM

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?

Please offer at least one product that is gluten-free, casein-free, AND soy free.  Many people who are gluten-free also are casein/dairy-free, and I also happen to be soy-intolerant.   If you offered such a product, people with multiple food intolerances/allergies like me would be in heaven!  This can include a clementine cake (see nigella lawson recipe on foodnetwork.com), meringues, walnut cakes (see latartinegourmande.com's lucia's walnut cake) and french macaroons (see NY Times recipe).

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?

It must be individually packaged to ensure it has not been contaminated.

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?  

There needs to be a sign with a full listing of ingredients and clear specifications of which allergens are in each product.  Otherwise, people will not feel safe eating it.  For example, if a product said "gluten-free" but did not specify whether it contained dairy, I couldn't eat it.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?

Anywhere--as long as the products can't be cross-contaminated.

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

Yes, I am used to that now.  However, you can make many recipes (see clementine cake above) that are gluten-free and do not require special, costly ingredients.

YvonneYaar
1/9/2009 6:51 AM

I would LOVE to see GF items.  Cookies and Sandwiches.  Individually packaged.  THANK YOU!

lanan
1/9/2009 6:52 AM

Since others have covered the cross-contamination and packaging  issues for gluten-free items, my suggestions for offerings would be muffins, cookies, bagels and breakfast choices wrapped in corn tortillas.  

Thanks.

PattieLynn
1/9/2009 6:53 AM

Before becoming gluten free, I loved the lemon bars...I'd Love to see them gluten free.

If they aren't individually packaged, they could have their own display space away from the other pastry case.

I'd like to see a sign when I walk in.

Yes, gluten free folks are used to paying more for their products, Starbucks would be no different.  So, yes, I'd pay a bit more.

I am in Kenosha on the WI/IL border and we have a huge Celiac population between Milwaukee & Chicago...please consider this area for trials and gluten free options.

Neat
1/9/2009 7:01 AM

Oh wow! Gluten free at Starbucks would be fantastic! There are 1 out of 110 of us in the US with gluten intolerence.  With those odds, you would do yourself a favor if you had well labled gluten-free pastries. I buy my NY TIMES from you regularly but rarely get coffee because there is nothing to eat with the coffee..

I would think that you would want to package the product individually because that would give it a longer shelf life. And of course, I would expect to pay more for it. Please advertise when you have these products available. I had no idea theat the Amraetti cookies were gluten free.

                                                       Thank you, Schrocko in Chapel Hill

jsa11406
1/9/2009 7:09 AM

What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?

•I would like to see pastries, cookies, and loaf breads. I would like Starbucks to also carry items that are not only gluten free but allergy free as well.  There is a very large percent of people who not only have a need for their foods to be gluten free but free of the some or all of the top eight food allergens, specifically eggs, dairy and nuts as well as soy free. www.mayoclinic.com/.../AA00057

Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?

•I personally would not buy an item if it were not individually packaged and properly labeled. In addition to celiac, I have other food allergies and always need to read the label to check the ingredients.  Individual packaging also insures the costumer that cross-contamination is not an issue in the store.

How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?

•I would prefer for there to be printed signs telling the costumers about gluten/allergy free items.  Celiac and food allergies are medical diseases not diet fads and unfortunately, there are consequences and risks for the people who have these diseases, some very serious. Sometimes employees do not always have the correct facts.  I think more people would be inclined to purchase these items if they could see a printed sign stating what the facts. Also, Starbucks is not a place I would think of as carrying gluten free items, so advertising is good idea. (Another reason for the signs!)  

Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?

•Again, going back to the individually packaged question—I would not buy an item that was in case with gluten containing items.  The risk of cross contamination is too great.  The consequences for me are too great.  My thoughts on this are if Starbucks wants to serve the whole gluten free population then it’s better to have them separated because some people don’t care about cross contamination and others won’t even consider an item because of it. You will increase your sales if you meet the needs of both.  That being said—individual packaging, well labeled in a separate case.  However, tucked away in a corner where no one will see them. :o)

The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

•Yes, I would be willing to pay a higher cost for items I can eat but please beware the items at Starbucks are already on the high side, so you wouldn’t want to go too much higher.  

Thank you so much for wanting to serve the needs of people with Celiac Disease! It means more than you know! :o)

amylynn2024
1/9/2009 7:21 AM

I used to buy something to munch on while shopping at my local Super Target (they have a Starbucks inside) but since being diagnosed with Celiac that treat has stopped.  I would love to see at least one baked good available GF.  They are not difficult to make and taste just as good or better than those with Gluten.  Education of your staff is SO KEY .. I just went to a store this week  (that will remain un-named) and a supposed expert on Gluten free gave me obvious mis-information.  It makes me nervous about listening to anyone in the community that hasn't been trained.  Signs would be great because as someone else mentioned, I don't want to stand in that line only to find out there is nothing GF.  It would also be nice if you could start to provide a list of what drinks you have that are GF and take a look at how you can make your current drinks GF with slight changes.  I think people have stated pretty clearly that these items need to be packaged to prevent contamination so I'll leave that alone.   When you start to sell these items, you should let local Celiac and GF groups know.  Word will spread quickly and we love to share ideas for eating out that are safe.  You should also have a small testing station when you roll the items out to introduce them to folks that don't need to go GF but may not want to buy something that sounds so foreign.  People will be surprised at how good the items taste and may prefer eating them over the gluten items.  In terms of cost, yes it is a bit more expensive to make these items but the cost shouldn't be outrageous as I've seen some other people do when offering these items.  If I can make an entire loaf of bread at home for what you are charging for one slice then the math is prett easy for me.  

Thank you from Colorado

Blib
1/9/2009 8:30 AM

I would absolutely love to see Starbucks offer a gluten free item (pastry, scone, muffin, anything).  Clearly labeled and separate from the other baked items to prevent cross-contamination (maybe pre-pkg).  Most Celiac's or gluten-intolerant people realize there is an increased cost for these types of items but having them available would be very nice.  Also, being open to using ingredients in your drinks that don't have gluten containing ingredients would also be nice.  My daughter can't have gluten and therefore can't have your hot chocolate as well as several of the frappucinos because the powders used are cross-contaminated with gluten containing ingredients.  Because of this, we have to go to a local coffee shop that uses milk and Torani syrup for their hot cocoa as we know it is safe.  Just being aware that 1 in 133 people have Celiac's Disease should make you want to address this concern.  I believe you are missing out on a large portion of potential customers by not being sensitive to this health issue.  Thanks!  

glutenfreejam
1/9/2009 8:45 AM

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?  I would love to see coffee cake, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, bars ie brownies.

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged? MUST be prewrapped I can not say that enough MUST

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?  Signs please and if you let us know the gluten free nework as it were will spread the word very fast

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?  Pastry case so we do not feel second class

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version? Sadley we know this to be true so yes

Thank you!

cfdesigns
1/9/2009 9:17 AM

Thank you for asking!  I agree with everyones responses ie. individually wrapped, labeled and the necessity for higher cost of GF items. I also want to point out the tremendous earning potential this will present to Starbucks and suggest that a portion of the proceeds be donated to the Celiac Research Center at the U of Maryland or other CD research institution or organization. GF foods are the fasted growing segment of the food industry - sales are going through the roof.

Having safe food for Celiacs while traveling will be a MAJOR breakthrough as in airports, on the road and in unfamiliar territory many of us can not find decent meals. This would be an enormous help and would change the culture of having CD. For my part I would like to see healthy GF offerings too. Such as whole grain sandwiches, hearty corn muffins and if you can get it: there are now suppliers of GF Oats - do a google search. You could use those in Oatmeal cookies.  I get tears in my eyes just thinking about this!

PLEASE do it!    Thank you,

Cathy, Pittsburgh

cfdesigns
1/9/2009 9:20 AM

One other point: One of my kids also has a nut allergy - if at all possible GF NUT free choices would make life spectacular for one little girl!!

GIGRD
1/9/2009 9:49 AM

I am thrilled that Starbucks is looking at gluten-free options. The market is large and growing. Our organization is the Seattle area. We would like to share with you results from years of GF consumer surveys. These surveys offer insight into the gluten-free market and consumer buying habits.  We can also offer ideas on products. At the least, I would suggest that products be individually packaged, be clearly marked gluten free, and meet the proposed FDA gluten-free definition or stricter, such as that from the Gluten-Free Certification Org. (www.GFCO.org).

swlane
1/9/2009 10:03 AM

I am so happy that you are considering gluten-free!  I would be so happy to have some type of cinnamon coffee cake and chocolate chip or peanut butter so I could pick up breakfast and a snack easily.  Thanks!

dbpark
1/9/2009 10:10 AM

I think it is awesome that we'd be considering getting GF items, as that is starting to become a larger health concern and good for us to look at getting on board with.  Also many of us who must eat GF do not come in to Starbucks, because we know that all of the baked products and sandwiches contain gluten.  When I'm hungry, I go elsewhere for that reason - would love to be able to buy something baked at Starbucks.  Personally, I would love to see coffee cake, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, brownies/ bars.

It is important that the GF items be clearly labeled as such, as that would make it clear to the customer that it is a GF item.  Keeping items wrapped separately prevents cross-contamination which is critical for some people's health.

I would expect to pay more for it; although the general reputation of Starbucks is that the items are already on the high side, so you wouldn’t want to go too much higher.  

Please advertise when you have these products available.Thank you so much for wanting to serve the needs of people with Celiac Disease and other Gluten/wheat allergies!

srsuper
1/9/2009 10:10 AM

Thank you Starbucks! This would be a great addition to your menu. Yes, as others have stated, please make sure gluten free items are separated (I've seen some places do a gluten free top shelf only to ensure falling crumbs dont contaminate)  but the baristas also have to know that things like tongs, serving utensils, cooking/prep surfaces, even hands/gloves need to be separate too. This might be made easier by keeping gluten free things in packaging....which I dont think the g/f community would mind at all. We are used to paying more, so no worries there....Even if you were to carry already available products such as cookies, scones, other snack items, having them there with your latte is a great pull.

Please put labels on the items- that makes us feel much more confident. We've learned not to take anyone's "word for it."

I love the idea of having local celiac/gluten free/allergy groups around to spread the word. Thats a great resource and automatically  gives us a sense of trust for a product.

It is estimated that 1 in 133 Americans has celiac disease. You would be helping a huge population and making us feel SO welcome in your stores. thank you!

yukonfreak
1/9/2009 10:20 AM

Thank you for considering this.  I think that most would like separately packaged items, but please keep the environment in mind!  Also, GF items that would appeal to both kids and adults would be great.  Please consider offering a version of your fruit and yogurt parfaits without granola or with a GF substitute!  Please keep your airport locations in mind too.  It would be terrific to be able to pick up a GF snack with coffee at an airport!

seckard67
1/9/2009 10:50 AM

I would love to see either individually wrapped items, or items separated from the wheat containing items with a divider or something.  A sign would be great - everyone would easily identify that Starbucks has GF items available.  Remember that in addition to Celiacs who must eat gluten free, many people choose to eat gluten free for health and diet reasons. I would not have a problem paying more for GF items at Starbucks or anywhere else that makes the effort to have something available for us! My girls and I would be so thankful to have something available to eat at Starbucks!

kprabwin
1/9/2009 10:57 AM

Please do consider adding GF items.  As a person with Celiac Disease, I walk in, and leave having spent $1.45 (plus tip) for a cup of tea.  Surely Starbucks would enjoy receiving more of my hard earned bucks!  Items would have to be individually wrapped.  Salads, pastry items, sandwiches, etc.  All would be welcomed by Celiacs who are accustomed to paying more for our food.

cdinsc
1/9/2009 11:50 AM

Please do consider adding GF products.  Individually wrapped is the better idea due to contamination issues. You do not want to know how ill one can get from a few crumbs of a wheat based item.  I would suggest biscotti and something like muffins.   There are some

rice cereals which make excellent Rice Krispy-type treats.   Signage or wrapper printing would be the best way to identify GF products.  I understand costs are an issue, but we all have to budget for certain matters.   I wish our town had been one of your test sites for GF products.   Generally folks on a GF diet are pretty loyal customers and vocal about their loyalty if they have a good source of quality GF products.

Come visit us in S.C.

FreewayFan
1/9/2009 12:01 PM

A gluten free breakfast item would be great - it would mean that our family would choose Starbucks for breakfast - we go where we can all eat together.  

A wrapped, labeled item would be best - we could then order like everyone else - as in "I'd like one of those please" - and we would not have to depend on someone else to know if the item was GF or not.  The price should reflect the cost of production - if it is cheap to produce the item, then please pass the savings on to the GF consumer.  How about a carrot-raisin muffin (healthy and also lactose free), or a pound cake slice, or some fruit pie, or a cupcake?  Could you label the products in English and other languages too - to be helpful?

jackeliz
1/9/2009 12:17 PM

I vote for gluten-free hot chocolate my 7 year old son can enjoy.  Right now there is nothing we can order for him off the menu.  My son and I came into the store one day after finding out he was gluten-free.  Before his diagnosis, he used to enjoy those pre-packaged cheese and fruit plates you offer.  The only problem is it is packaged along w/ bread slices containing gluten thus contaminating everything else inside.  So, my suggestion is to have a pre-packaged, clearly marked section of pastries, breads, muffins that are gluten-free and kept separate from your other breads containing gluten.  He would be able to enjoy your fruit/cheese plate if it were packaged w/ gluten free bread.  The staff will have to be trained not to cross-contaminate by handling pastries w/ gluten then directly handling the gluten-free items.  

guineveresky
1/9/2009 1:48 PM

While everyone probably wants GF pastries (and that would be nice too) I'd like to see things like fruit salads, the tomato mozzerella salad etc. to be labeled GF including dressings etc. All of this must be kept away from all gluten containing foods. A family member of mine who is gluten intolerant works for Starbucks and she is afraid that the GF items would simply be placed in the pastry case with the gluten items, making them essentially poison to us. I have Celiac disease and can react to one small crumb. Please do not listen to suggestions from those that are not GF. Our items must be separate to prevent cross contamination. Also, workers may need to change gloves after handling gluten containing items (unless GF items are wrapped).

Thanks for the suggestion, and if I needed a healthy GF snack / meal on the go, price is the least of my concern.

EGillen
1/9/2009 2:07 PM

What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?  muffins, brownies, cookies, cheese and crackers, salads, soups, etc.  We would be delighted with anything.  We are easy to please.

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged? It has to be individually packaged to eliminate any chances of cross contamination along with a complete list of ingredients.  Label product "gluten-free."  

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?  A sign is the way to go.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere? Pastry case, as long as it is individually packaged.

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version? <sigh> Yes, we understand that you would be charging more.  

Babitty
1/9/2009 2:19 PM

I think it is so wonderful that Starbucks is exploring offering more gluten free options!  

The main thing that I believe that would be helpful is to have a gluten free list available at each store as well as information clearly displayed stating that Starbucks has gluten free options available.    

When you begin to explore gluten free options, I think you will discover that  a lot of items can easily be purchased gluten free that you may already stock/carry.  For example, many brands of good chocolate - particularly dark chocolate - are gluten free as are fruits, cheeses and vegetables.  

It would be wonderful if you carried some type of bread product that is gluten free in addition to foods like those mentioned above that may naturally be gluten free.   Having some type of muffin, bagel or bread would really allow individuals who cannot have gluten to enjoy the complete coffee picture.     These definitely need to be individually wrapped with ingredient lists.  

And yes, anyone who is gluten free is used to paying a more for the products.   Hopefully a company as large as Starbucks would be able to swing a deal with their supplier to provide reasonable prices, perhaps even comparable to some of the other baked items you sell, that are gluten free.

Karen Shirley

www.babitty.com

djdjbellissimo
1/9/2009 4:25 PM

Gluten Free Items in Starbucks...... ?... my heart just skipped a beat with joy!

Items to aim for: muffins, cookies, scones.

DEFINITELY individually packaged!  This leaves out any doubt in everyone's mind as to what the item may have come in contact with.

Even packaged, I think most people would prefer to see these items in their own space (whether in or outside a case).

For people with Celiac Disease, the words "Gluten Free" can almost cause your heart to happily race a bit.  So put up as many signs as you can.

People who eat gluten free will gladly pay a bit more than the "average" customer in order to have onsite options, and not have to bring their own treat.

NOTE:  please do not let some of the comments from people who do not eat gluten free, be part of your survey.  If you don't eat that way, you have no idea.  I was almost shuddering at the post of someone who LOVES wheat and thought the gluten free items would be fresher and prettier unpackaged and in the case with all other items...... yikes!

Celiac Sue
1/9/2009 8:46 PM

Congratulations on a very welcome move toward offering the gluten free community a treat with your excellent coffee.  

I believe the issues with labeling and marketing have already been very nicely presented.

I have an idea.   Many of us have favorite recipes that we developed for ourselves  and to share.  A contest to find the top 5-10 recipes acceptable for marketing with a nice prize for each recipe accepted would be great.  You could even involve a celiac support group testing team.  

I have an outstanding cheesecake that everyone thinks is phenominal, even the non-gluten free folks.  Others have great cookies, cakes, even cinnamon rolls.  

What do you think?

Sue in MD

Anonymous
1/9/2009 10:11 PM

Wow, this is great, I have lamented often that I cannot eat or drink most of your menu. I even recently started exploring other shops so this might lure back some of your customer base.

I do think your prices are in general way too high, and that will go for the gluten free items. The pricing for gluten free is usually based on milking a desperate person for money. There are now studies being made to prove this, so try to keep it on par with your existing prices  but quality.

For the advertising question: Signs and possibly commercials. Celiacs and Gluten Intolernats aren 't the only ones who avoid it, some vegans might try coming in if they felt your food matched their standards.

I would not trust your staff with cross contamination because of the nature of your business. This isn't a failing on your part necessarily but I would require my food prepacked with easy access to the ingredients lists. Trying to find out what is in even a drink due to my numerous and not just gluten related allergies is like asking for their souls. If I cannot find out what is in it, I won't eat it.

Now what would I buy at Starbucks?

A gluten free brownie, gluten free biscoti, gluten free cheesecake, gluten free blueberry muffins, any seasonal item you make in a gluten free format. I might not be able to order your savory menu items if they have vegetables so a ham and cheese sandwhich. Cookies, I would love a good chocolate chip cookie right now.

One other potential issue, a lot of gluten free items do not taste very good cold. How would you offer us heated items without the risk of cross contamination?

I would want a seperate pastry case for the prepackaged gluten free, that way even the packaging would be less likely to carry a crumb of agony.

I do think educating your staff is important, and I would be wary of buying heated food at your store. I have been made very ill in the past by supposed gluten free where the heating process brought it into contact with wheat, to the point of going to the emegency room. I will not do that again.

I must admit that being able to eat with my friends will be an exciting change.

If you choose to not go gluten free, it would be very bad for businessa fter advertising. You now have the celiac world focused on you with hopeful tummies.

Also, ignore the posts by people who aren't wheat intollerant and try to accomodate the soy free caisen free wheat free people like me!

Carol111558
1/10/2009 6:07 AM

I would be very excited if the Starbucks near me started offering gluten free foods. One of the challenges I have is traveling in business and finding food to eat on the road! Thank you Starbucks!!!!!!!!

reebie56
1/10/2009 6:48 AM

I would be so excited to see gluten-free items, and I think everyone who needs to follow a gluten-free diet understands that the price will be higher. if you had a list of gluten-free items on the menu boards, I can guarantee you that everyone I know who can eat regular foods would take note and tell me about it, so word would spread pretty quickly.

the gluten-free items would need to be individually packaged, otherwise the risk of cross-contamination is too high and I wouldn't even bother trying them. that's very important.

finally, as many people who can't have gluten also have other allergies, it would be very helpful on the gluten-free items, if you'd label all the ingredients on the individual packages, so people could know which other allergens are present or not. and it would be great to have some products that are both gluten-free AND casein-free, as many people have problems with casein (dairy).

thanks so much for considering doing this!! LOTS of people will be excited~ there aren't a lot of quick stop places where you can find gluten-free foods.

a_lotofthings
1/10/2009 2:42 PM

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores? I would love to see gluten-free versions of baked goods already available. Specifically, muffins, danishes, and breads/loaves would be wonderful!

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged? Unpackaged, as this makes them appear freshly baked. I would generally only buy one at a time, so bulk packaging wouldn't appeal to me.

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you? I would prefer to see it on a sign in the pastry case (next to the products) or on the blackboards behind the baristas. Having the barista tell each customer would slow down each transaction.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere? In a dedicated spot on the pastry case. Gluten-free products can't be placed on a surface (such as a plate) or share utensils or serving gloves with products containing gluten, because some people are very sensitive to even a few crumbs. But I would like to see my gluten-free choices while I'm in line, like everyone else.

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version? Absolutely. I would expect a high-quality product and the same portion sizes as gluten-containing foods.

Something to consider is that a lot of people with celiac disease (a common reason that consumers would adhere to a gluten-free diet) are also lactose intolerant. Products baked without dairy would be much appreciated as well!

luvintoknit
1/10/2009 3:35 PM

I think it would be great to offer GF snacks.  I am able to make many delicious treats at home.  But sometimes it would we nice to be able to grab a great muffin or snack to go with my tea or coffee, too.  Starbucks is already pricey, as are all of the flours and GF products I currently purchase...I wouldn't be surprised at all by a pricey muffin.  Coupons would be  a neat way to get us GFers into you store to taste the new treats.  :)

celicat
1/10/2009 3:46 PM

I am dying for a nice gluten free treat, and I would settle for a packaged one instead of fresh.  I was very excited to see that you now had the cool amaretti cookies, but I could only buy the package, for 5 bucks, instead of just getting one cookie at my local shop.  My ideal would be a nice fresh cookie or muffin, carefully wrapped at the bakery to eliminate cross-contamination issues.  I would also really appreciate some sort of signage letting me know what is gluten free in the store.  "All mocha flavors are GF except..."   Thanks for starting the dialogue and the gluten free cookies!

20Cinnyluvr10
1/10/2009 6:20 PM

I feel that if Starbucks offered Gluten Free Foods it would be great for their image. I my slef have Celiac Disease, and find it very frustrating to go to a Starbucks and not be able to get their pasrty product. The food would have to specially wrapped to avoid X-contamination which means they would be more expencive, but im sure people would understand. Things like breakfast muffins/ bagels as well as brownies or cake slices would be amazing.

mtnamos
1/10/2009 8:03 PM

I think having ANY gluten-free item available would be a treat- whether pastry, cookie, biscotti, etc. However, one must be very careful about cross-contamination issues. It seems to me that a separate locale or individual packaging would be needed. It would be important for me to see an ingredient list and/or have the items marked so I don't have to rely on the barista. Gluten-free items are always more expensive and most of us Celiacs understand that. We would gladly pay the expense to be able to enjoy a muffin or bagel with our coffee. While in Australia this summer, I noticed that Starbucks always had gluten-free cookies available and sometimes biscotti. I'm not sure what the difference is there-- I had little difficulty at any restaurant in AU. They were very aware of gluten and very willing to assist. The difference between my experiences there and in the U.S. were quite opposite.

rfenn
1/10/2009 8:23 PM

This would be amazing! It would be so great if Starbucks, would carry GF options, I visit almost daily cafes and being recently diagnosed with Celiac, makes quick options at my favorite coffee shops, truly difficult. I would go to Starbucks even more if I knew I could safely grab a snack there too. I would love to see GF muffins, pumpkin/banana breads, GF chocolate, GF, cookies, GF crackers and even cheese, or salads with dressing (that are labelled saftely GF). These products must be very clearly labelled and protected from cross contamination from all other products. Signs would be great, also baristas telling customers is great as well. It would be great also for lists of GF drinks. That way it's very clear as too what is safe. This is so great! I'm so glad Starbucks is thinking of GF options. I can't wait.... Also I gave yet to see the Ameretii cookies you mention....

No problem with extra money, totally understandable.

thanks for considering this idea!

lau123
1/10/2009 8:33 PM

Gluten free would be wonderful. But there are other things for me to consider. It also has to be SOY free, and egg free. There are a ton of products that are gluten free, and then they lean on eggs and soy to prop them up. I so totally have GF/SF/EF recipes if starbucks needs to hand them over to a bakery or something. Gluten free baking is not for the faint of heart. But it can be done. My cookies look and taste just like the ones that are loaded with wheat. If the stores were to carry an GF option, I think it should be CLEARLY labelled on the product and on the shelf... and that what ever it is needs to be individually wrapped. You really can't imagine how bad the cross contamination problem is. Really. Laurie

Breve
1/10/2009 11:27 PM

Imagine, now you can get "gluten free" food and I still can't get a cup of coffee from a company whose middle name is "coffee". Something is very, very wrong here!

basketc60
1/11/2009 4:01 AM

    Delighted to hear Starbucks is considering GF!!  

    I concur with previous posts -- pastries, individually packaged, signage and yes, I'd pay more.

    If you do start this, get the word out to the many gluten-free groups on the Internet.  Business will boom!  But, please don't put the word out until you have the products in ALL Starbucks.

    I suggest you might stick your toe in the water by offering individually packaged cookies (2 to a pack) from Pamela's Products.  

emclaney
1/11/2009 6:04 AM

I have Celiac Disease which affects one out of every 133 people. Yes, its that common, just often misdiagnosed. Often, the symptoms can be minor enough that individuals don't have them checked out.

So, having to remove gluten from my diet directly determines which restaurant I choose when I go out to eat. There are a number of restaurants that have gluten free menus. Coffe shops however, do not. This means that I usually bypass them, including Starbucks. That could easily change by introducing a small selection of GF products. For more information of Celiac Disease go to: http://www.celiac.org/

caffeine4liz
1/11/2009 7:11 AM

I have celiac disease and would be SO happy to be able to have a treat with my starbucks coffee.  It would be nice if the food items could be "fresh" and unpackaged, but for logistical reasons (cross-contamination) they would likely be safer if pre-packaged.  I would love to have some kind of cake/bread/muffin or scone item, or even a GF rice krispie treat. Anything would be better than nothing.  It is nice to see that companies are considering the huge market of GF people that currently avoid their stores... because if I see a GF menu option I will head to that place over one that does not have a GF option.

cateepoo
1/11/2009 7:29 AM

I would like to see baked goods separated from the other goods because too often employees just don't get that gluten free can't be mixed with gluten.  

Many people that are gluten free are also dairy/soy free.  I would absolutely love if products were made without these two ingredients and if a hemp/almond milk could be used for lattes and mochas.  That is what we use at home and they are delicious!   I am usually stuck purchasing a tea at SB because of the dairy problem and for $1.49 it just isn't worth it.  I know a lot of work goes into making a mocha and feel it deserves the extra money on occassion, but not a tea.  I will even bring my own tea if my family is visiting SB because I don't have  lot of options.

glutenfreehub
1/11/2009 8:49 AM

What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?

It would be great if you published a list of which specialty drinks are gluten free. I love chai, but I'm uncertain whether it's gluten free at Starbucks, and my barristas never know either. It would also be great if there were gluten free scones. Scones tend to be crumbly anyway, so making gluten free ones isn't that difficult.

Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?

Individually packaging gluten-free products would ensure that they are actually gluten free by preventing cross-contamination in the store. It's also very reassuring to see a gluten-free label on products, so this would increase consumer confidence that your products are safe.

How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?

There would need to be a sign. I don't expect baked goods to be gluten free, so I probably wouldn't even ask. However, if there was a sign, then I could make my selection while waiting in line. A sign identifying the gluten-free products would also eliminate the need to trust the barrista (someone you may not even know). Given that gluten intolerance is a serious illness, most of us aren't going to trust the person behind the register unless we know them personally.

Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?

Finding the gluten free products placed in a separate case (unless they were individually wrapped) would instill me with greater confidence than seeing them in the pasty case with all of the other baked goods. Cross-contamination is a major issue when it comes to gluten, so I would not buy a gluten-free product if it was sitting next to other products containing gluten.

The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

Absolutely! If  it's gluten free and tastes good, then I will buy it. It's so rare to find mainstream companies that will actually confirm that a product is gluten free, which makes it difficult to eat out. So, when I eat out, I go wherever I know there will be something that's gluten free, no matter how difficult it is to get there or how much it will cost me.

curediabetes
1/11/2009 10:28 AM

My 11 year old daughter has struggled with Type 1 Diabetes since the young age of 16 months.  Now she has the new challenge of Celiac Disease, I would enjoy having more options for our 'mom & me' special days!  Including GLUTEN FREE foods & drinks at Starbucks that TASTE GOOD would mean the world to us both!!!  She deserves this...also, including the CARBOHYDRATE COUNT would help take the guess work of how much insulin to give at that time.

Thank you,  A Proud Mom

GFPATISSERIE
1/11/2009 10:55 AM

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?

Fresh cakes and pastries is the way to go.

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?

Unpackaged

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?

Small labels near the actual products, as well as a large sign "GF Pastries now available"

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?

The Celiac community is a bit finnicky about cross contamination, so a separate location might serve you better.

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

100%. Celiacs know they have to pay a premium and are prepared to do so, to enjoy a lifestyle that caters to their issues.

Visit www.gfpatisserie.com Victoria has a gluten free bakery near Calgary and her products are fresh daily.

awheeles
1/11/2009 10:56 AM

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?

ANYTHING: muffins, sandwiches, salads, cookies.  Also, with slight modifications to current offerings (i.e. seperate the granola from the yogurt parfeit or the bread from the cheese tray), GF customers could enjoy them too.

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?

MUST be individually packaged to avoid cross-contamination.

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?

Signage in the stores is great, but I would also love to see a campaign or write up in the Seattle Times, as this would help the news spread quickly among the celiac grape-vine.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?

Pastry case makes the most sense.

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

Yes, we are all very used to shelling out more money to stay healthy, but as others have mentioned, with modifications to current offerings, the prices for those items shouldn't have to change.

*Also, Whole Foods has a GF Bakery that is VERY good...don't they also provide Sbux with their non-GF items?  If a contract is already in place with them, adding GF items shouldn't be too much extra work.  Some of their items are also dairy-free!

* For all the people with dairy and soy allergies, it would be WONDERFUL if we started offering rice or almond milk for lattes, as well.

Thank you so much for reaching out for ideas.  I cannot WAIT to be able to enjoy sbux food offerings!

Angela Wheeless

Starbucks Partner

Owner, Life is a Party Catering Company, www.cateringbyangela.com

gfphysicsphd
1/11/2009 11:10 AM

I actually am a manufacturer of yummy gluten-free and allergen-free (no wheat/gluten, dairy/casein, egg, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, sulfites, and yeast) baked goods in Southern California...suitable for vegans, celiacs, and anyone who has food allergies. My products are individually packaged and sold individually in various health food stores and Whole Foods Market. Just wanted to let people know that it's absolutely possible.

Patricia M
1/11/2009 12:22 PM

As a person with celiac disease who would LOVE to see GF at the Starbucks, i think packaging needs to be taken very seriously.  Items need to be individually wrapped and labelled, preferably at the source, not at the Starbucks, where the risk of cross-contamination from the board, knife,  glove or tong  is a real threat.  Then, keeping the GF items in the display case along with the other wheat selections is more than acceptable.

Signage would be vital.  I guarantee the response will be well worth the effort and expense; many follow a GF diet nowadays, either by choice or necessity.

I would love, personally, to see a great moist brownie, a couple of yummy cookies (chocolate chip being high on my list!) as well as a similar alternative to whatever the wheat selections might be: scone, bar...  

Thanks for this, it's great!

namawmebee
1/11/2009 12:38 PM

Absolutely! Offering any alternative foods is a huge help for those who "travel" with others who have allergies.  

klp
1/11/2009 12:51 PM

Wonderful idea.

If you are looking for consultants or pastry chefs to help with the effort I would be delighted.  I've been working as a gluten free baker and developer for a natural food store and then for a bake shop.  I have practical knowledge about shelf life, storage, packaging, costing and consumer needs that might be helpful to you.  As a graduate of a health based culinary program, I also am skilled in baking dairy and egg free products as well.

breakingglutenfreebread.blogspot.com

Carico
1/11/2009 1:43 PM

We have a grandson who has Celiacs disease. The more gluten free products you can make the better. Thank you for helping to provide solutions for many.

kygf
1/11/2009 2:12 PM

• I would love a poppy seed muffin!  Actually any breakfast pastry food would be outstanding.

• I would prefer individually wrapped unless there was a dedicated cross contamination free area however I believe that would be difficult.

• I would prefer a sign or even better, a GF decal on the door where applicable.

•Probably elsewhere due to cross-contamination.

• Yes

Celiac06
1/11/2009 3:46 PM

I would love to see Starbucks offer GF baking as I am a frequent visitor of the coffee shop.  Muffins, pasteries and coffee cakes would be scrumptuous!

Cross contamination is one of the biggest areas that uninformed people don't understand for the celiac person.  The products would have to be individually wrapped because  using the same tongs to touch a glutenous muffin and then a GF muffin would be a waste because the celiac person would not buy it.  

Proper signage would be essential for the celiac customer and would bring in many people as this is the healthier way of eating.

GF Patisserie is a fantastic bakery in Cochrane AB and should be considered when choosing a company to supply products in the Calgary area if Starbucks goes this route of offering GF baking.

CalgaryCeliac
1/11/2009 4:13 PM

I would like to second Celoac 06's  suggestion for using GF Patisserie as a supplier for gluten free products.

An area test run with those coffee cakes or lemon loaves,t hat's all you need.

Fresh will set you apart. Keep the packaging simple and nice indications which items are GF.

Cannot wait.

Dean O
1/11/2009 4:23 PM

As a Celiac, I go to Starbucks all the time as it is the one coffee chain that where I do not get sick from the coffee (I am guessing because some coffee chains use coffees where flour is dusted on the coffee beans to keep the beans moving on the conveyor belt?), Anyways I would like to see gluten free muffins and other goodies at starbucks. Starbucks would certainly get even more of my business and the business of many celiacs in Western Canada. I would like to see the Gf products individually package with some clear signage as to whether it is GF (gluten fee) or not. Personally, I would understand if it costs more.  Dean

ShirleyGFE
1/11/2009 4:41 PM

What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores? cookies, brownie, pastry, and sandwiches

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged? definitely packaged ... I would not buy unpackaged (the risk of cross contamination with other products is too great)

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products?

Signs, advertising, labeling of the products (with all ingredients shown)

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?  Nearby other similar products, but safe from cross contamination

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version? Higher is fine, but not outrageous

Final note ... I don't even got to Starbucks now (I am not a coffee drinker), but I would if these options were available. My son (who is also gluten free) goes for the coffee, but can not eat the goodies so he would be visiting your locations more often and purchasing a lot more.  Please offer these options!!  Shirley

jenrn
1/11/2009 5:42 PM

As someone who must stick to a GF diet...I AM SO EXCITED AT THE PROSPECT OF STARBUCKS CARRYING GF OPTIONS!!

I would love to see muffins, cookies, power/energy bars...anything really!

I would prefer items in their own packaging, but am not as picky about seperating the GF from the non GF foods (I do not have a seperate fridge at home for the GF food!!)

I like the idea of signage indicating that there are GF products available. I also think that the baristas must TRULY understand what GF means and why it is important to avoid cross contamination.

Paying a little more for the GF option is expected, and anyone who follows the GF diet would not be surprised by this.....ALL GF food costs more!

It might be a good idea to let members of local celiac groups come in and test various options and the word would definately spread quickly through the celiac/GF diet community.

Good Luck & I can't wait!!

bethany_lee
1/11/2009 6:00 PM

I think this is a fantastic idea! The gluten free community is a lot larger than people think, and it's growing!

But I agree with a lot of other comments I've seen...ALL Starbucks staff members would have to be thoroughly educated on not only which items were gluten free, but also on ways to prevent cross contamination.

Items look nicer and more appetizing in the pastry case, but it would be safer if they were individually wrapped. Maybe there could be a smaller case for just gluten free things?

Signs are always good...I'm kind of a dork and I like reading the little barista recommendation signs already, so I think having some sign telling about the new products would be good.

As far as what kind of products...anything would be great! Muffins, pumpkin loafs, coffee cakes..yum!  And it's really not too hard to make these things gluten free and still taste really good.

We're already used to paying more for our gluten free products at the grocery store. I don't think you'll have any trouble getting people to pay a little more for them.

How can we find out when/if any of our own local Starbucks stores are doing any operational testing of these products?

steve45678
1/11/2009 6:02 PM

- Muffins, cookies

- Individually packaged

- Clearly labeled with a sign (that can be seen from outside the store if not all Starbucks carry GF foods)

- Pastry case

- Yes, I would be willing (and expect) to pay more.

I would rather see Starbucks start with a small selection so that it has a great chance of being viable.  While traveling, it would be much better to have 1 or 2 GF items in all Starbucks than a larger selection in a few.  If GF products are not available in all stores a locator on the website would be essential.  

It is great Starbucks is considering entering this market.   Thanks.

RitaG
1/11/2009 7:00 PM

Oh how wonderful! I do have celiac disease and always look in the pastry case hoping for a gluten free option. ( I once went in a coffee shop in Seattle that had the whole top shelf gluten free muffins cookies and scones. ) I am extreemly sensitive to gluten and so I am sure it would be much safer to have the products wraped and labeled.

Cookies, scones,muffins and oh that lovely looking lemon bread and poppyseed muffins or bread would be heavenly! I don't expect them all at once. I understand the cost problems. I love Starbuck's!

sunrun
1/11/2009 7:00 PM

Thanks for pursuing the GF food idea.  This is especially helpful for your airport locations.  Airports and planes are tricky places to stay GF.

I would highly value GF biscotti.  Not too sweet please and with nuts if possible.    Something relatively healthy like banana bread or pumpkin bread with some fiber would be great as well.  

Please label it clearly and keep it away from the wheat products.  If it's in an open case with wheat products I probably wouldn't risk eating it.

Thanks again!

singerchick
1/11/2009 9:35 PM

I really like the fruit and cheese platter but I can't have the bagel inside of it. Maybe rice crackers or Nut thins could be put with it. Also, I know some GFer's can have oatmeal. Is the oatmeal sold in Starbucks gluten free? Grits is a great food and really popular in the south. Maybe something creative with that would be a fun food to add.

It would be really cool to see Starbucks use the cabernet flour for some type of unique GF baking product.

It would be nice to see GF products in both the pastries and in the cooler.

I don't think anyone would have a problem with paying a little more for GF products. I think it would be more welcome and appreciated!

conhaque
1/12/2009 1:28 AM

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?

Fresh salads, sandwiches, cookies, sweeties with fruits

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?

Unpackaged if I am sure that all the employees have a complete formation about gluten free food...It would be more secure with packaged food.

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you? To see it on a sign! And it is necessary too to speak about this very good idea in the medias.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere? In a special place elsewhere.

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version? If it is not a lot, I agree,  if not, I am sure the competitors will be better...

mycatisgftoo
1/12/2009 6:04 AM

I would love a good muffin! I wouldn't eat it unless it were individually wrapped, with an ingredient statement, though. Any GF items should be stored and displayed separately from wheat-containing items, to prevent cross-contamination and any confusion. Biscotti would also be a yummy option. Pamela's Products makes a good one that is already prepackaged. A miniature flourless chocolate cake would be great too. I could go on and on... ;)

I'm used to paying more, so even though it hurts, it'd be worth it to have something to munch on with my coffee. I always drool over the pastry case!

I think a sign would be the best way to advertise.

Thanks for even thinking about this! How exciting!!

Anonymous
1/12/2009 6:55 AM

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?

You really do not have to do anything all that different for the GF crowd, we like the same things; however, we typically are very attuned to ingredients and many of us are a part of the organic crowd. You might try a version of granola which would appeal to many who are not GF sensitive. Do more with Rooibos/ Red Bush Tea. It is a tea that actually enhances mineral assorption, i.e., iron that celiacs can have assorption problems with.

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?

Probably individually,  it will make it easier for your staff. Any cross-contamination could really be a problem for some.

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?

Seeing it on a sign would be fine. We are used to it and it could create some awareness among the non-GF crowd which would be nice.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere? In a special place elsewhere.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere? In a special place elsewhere.

it doesn't have to be in a special place; however, keep the products together so we can come in know where to look.

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

Don't take advantage on us, we are LOYAL group with a good communication pipeline.  We know who has been naughty or nice! Having said that we do pay more. Per haps an incentive? For example, how about a volume discount? The GF crowd is accustomed to doing that with products we purchase a lot of. It could create another market for you if you price it right.

FINALLY, Starbucks should use this an educational opportunity for their entire client base.  You already do that and it fits in to Starbucks community mission.

gfgirlaustin
1/12/2009 7:22 AM

I would LOVE to see Starbucks offer gluten free products.  In response to the questions, I would specifically like to see GF cookies/biscotti/muffins.  I would prefer individually packaged or unpackaged but in a separate display case from the non-GF foods.  As a person with Celiac disease, I could not trust that foods in the same case as the non-GF products are 100% free of gluten.  All it would take is for a single crumb from a non-GF food to fall on a GF food, and that item is no longer GF.  It would be best if the GF foods are advertised with a sign rather than by a barista, because I would never think to ask the barista.  If I saw a sign in the window, however, I would be inside that Starbucks in a heartbeat!  Finally, I would not mind paying a little more for gluten free products - this is the norm for me.  Thanks!

Anonymous
1/12/2009 7:24 AM

I would like to see fresh coffee cake, banana bread, products along that line, but I would like it to taste like the real thing.  Doesn't need hemp seeds or products that will make it taste funny and none of the pre-packaged products that are out there already, a little tired of having my treats come out of a box all the time. Celiacs deserve better. I really hope Starbucks does their research on finding the best product out there, don't always say no to the small business.

Placement?, whatever is easier for starbucks but must not allow cross contamination.

A  poster in the store would be great for advertising GF

gfandluvinit
1/12/2009 7:25 AM

I'd like to see g-f biscotti,  muffin, cookies, ganola and granola bars.

Definitely prefer prepackaged food- no concerns about cross contamination.  

I'd be glad to learn about the products anyway you want to tell me.  If you build it, we will come!!!

I would appreciate the service of providing these products.  The additional expense is totally understandable.  

I am a big fan of Starbucks, but feel like something is missing when I can't enjoy a biscotti or muffin with my cup of coffee.  

Thanks for considering our needs.

sgautschi
1/12/2009 7:32 AM

It would be fantastic if you could offer gluten free items.  I really appreciate that Starbucks can offer lactose free milk while the competition only appears to offer soy beverages as an alternative.

Individually wrapped items would be best to avoid cross contamination, allow easy labelling and preserve shelf life.  (Gluten free products tend to become stale quickly.)

The initial offering of just sweets would allow Starbucks to monitor the demand for gluten free products in each store before expanding to other items.

Thanks for your consideration.

MomToCeliac
1/12/2009 10:10 AM

It would be fabulous to know that I can purchase GF treats at a Starbucks for my celiac children.

First, please ensure that you consult with a recognized celiac association prior to introducing gluten-free food.  There are many misconceptions about GF items -- ie oats are not GF because they are cross-contaminated with gluten so you must purchase certified GF oats, many flours are not GF, including spelt.  Wheat free and gluten free are not the same.

The majority of comments have highlighted the fact that cross-contamination must be eliminated through individual packaging, proper placement of goodies for display (either separately, or top shelf of display case).  Ingredients must be clearly indicated on all packaging for additional food sensitivities.  

What has not been highlighted is the manufacturing process.  Does Starbucks intend to bake the GF items in the same facilities as their gluten treats?  If yes, then I won't be buying them for my children.  Please consider outsourcing the baking to a bakery that ONLY bakes gluten free.  Ensure that the facility providing the goodies does not use wheat or other gluten products in any of their manufacturing.  This needs to be clearly labeled on the ingredient package.

Trial your new GF products as some, actually many, are really lousy.  If looking at outsourcing in various communities, contact the local celiac association for ideas on who might be able to provide baking locally.

Educate the baristas, please.  Make documentation available to them and to the customers on what is or isn't gluten free.  Ensure that the baristas learn how to properly clean equipment and utensils that come into contact with gluten items.  When Starbucks offered the new breakfasts with oats, I was told that the oats were gluten free.  Wrong.  I knew better but some people won't.

And please take the offering of GF products seriously.  Listen to those who are unable to eat gluten, not those who are uninformed.  Speak with professionals and organizations that can guide you in the decision-making process when introducing GF items.  Develop standards for handling GF foods in every location.  You will become known as a GF safe environment and all celiacs will come.  

dierkesek
1/12/2009 10:24 AM

This is an excellent idea! I always go into Starbucks and wish I could eat some of the baked goods. (I have celiac disease)

I would love to see all the same baked goods you offer now, but gluten-free, displayed in the same way the gluten containing products are-so if they are usually packaged then have them packaged, if they are not, then don't package them.

Obviously if things are not packaged and they appear on the shelves with gluten containing baked goods you have to have something separating them as to not have cross contamination issues.

I think it would be helpful to have a sign.  People are not going to assume you have gluten-free products if you never have so they may not ask.

In the pastry case is ok to place them, just make sure they are separated-maybe on a dedicated shelf.

I understand spending more money for gluten-free products. I think the gluten-free community is used to having to spend more money on our food. If it is too over-priced that may be an issue though.

I hope you guys start to offer gluten-free products soon and have a sign letting us know!! Thanks!!

supersprout
1/12/2009 11:03 AM

Firstly, thank you!  I will admit that I'm not an avid visitor of Starbucks, but if GF products are available, I'd be more inclined to at least see what the hype is!  

I'd like to see GF pastries, muffins, etc, even the fruit cup (with no granola) or the cheese plate (with no crackers, or gf crackers as an option!)

I strongly urge PRE-PACKAGING, as many Celiac's cannot stand any cross contamination, and especially in a pastry case where other non-GF crumbly things are around, that's not kosher (so to speak).  Pre-packaged is the way to make sure your GF customers are getting the best quality assurance they are paying for.  I will say to the comment above me, that if you dedicate a gluten free shelf within the pastry case, you MUST make sure GF products are on a higher shelf than non-GF products, as mentioned, the crumbly bits cross-contamination issue.   But I'm still for pre-packaged.

A sign will be most helpful to those just learning of your GF products, since it's not something most customers ask about, just seeing advertising is the best way to learn.  It will prompt more questions, and probably get you more customers interested.  

As for price, ok, I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that yes, people with Celiac and on a gluten free diet are "used" to paying more, but we're also going broke just eating.  I think Starbucks makes enough of a profit off of the coffee, tea and other products to not have to hike up the prices of another offering, just because of higher prices.  We already pay more for everything else we eat...why not let us fit in with everyone else?  What would the price difference be between non-GF and a GF option?  Given that Starbucks most likely will NOT be offering every item they sell in a GF option, I think the price of GF should be comparable to non-GF.  Even if prices were comparable, Starbucks would still most likely be making a profit.  :)  

I hope to see some items soon!  Thanks!

shaniqua
1/12/2009 12:37 PM

• Cookies, muffins, bars, banana bread (or other versions)

• Packaged

•  A sign would be helpful.

• Anywhere visable where there would not be cross contact with gluten items.

• Yes, we would understand if we were charged more.  

Stavia
1/12/2009 1:21 PM

THANK YOU!

I love going to Starbucks, and I would love it even more if there were pastries there that I could eat.

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?

Anything that's available. Muffins, rolls, cakes, you name it.

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?

It would need to be packaged so that celiacs could be absolutely certain that what they are getting is gluten-free.

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?

A sign would be good, but I think, in addition, a major advertising campaign in the media would be even better.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?

In the pastry case.

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

Yes, that's fine.

Julieg
1/12/2009 1:58 PM

I was diagnosed with Celiac a year ago. I buy bags of Starbucks coffee and grind my own--of course always getting a cup to go. It would be so much fun to get to actually sit down again, enjoy my coffee, and have a tasty gluten free treat.

Yes, I'd pay more for it. I'm used to that.

Anything that's labeled GF, I'd be thrilled with. I'm not picky.

Thanks.

erbear
1/12/2009 2:06 PM

To offer gluten free products and clear  lists of ingredients would be a real benefit to your market base and certainly a  treat for all those with a gluten sensitivity to be able to purchase from your store.  The staff would need to have clear education regarding cross contamination; this is not a big deal but very important.  A special case  might be dedicated for gluten free products.   Individual packaging depends on if you make the product versus use a third party to supply.  Anything available in gluten free- muffin cookie, breakfast bar, drinks, salads  etc.    Marketing and advertising on your material is crucial both on written literature and the media;  and believe me-  those with allergies and gluten intolerance would learn quickly that you offer products and are knowledgeable.  A reasonable price is most appreciated and those with allergies/gluten issues are aware of the extra cost involved.  How exciting and  I can only hope this is a win-win for those in the community and your business!  My 1o year old celiac  daughter votes to " have a case where I can pick out something good that is gluten free   just like the bakery!!!!  Thank-you for the opportunity to post.

WilkieMurakami
1/12/2009 2:46 PM

Yes yes yes!! I have celiac disease and would love nothing more than being able to pick up a snack with my coffee.

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores? ANYTHING! Brownies, muffins, quiches, sandwiches

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged? Definitely individually packaged.

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?  Signs. I'd also love to be able to ask for a notebook or brochure that lays out the nutritional info of each item in one place.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?  Anywhere convenient

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version? Yes

Note: Many people with celiac disease also have other food intolerances (to dairy, soy, etc.) so obviously items with as few allergens as possible would make them available to more people. At the very least, the nutritional info for all the gluten-free items should be on the packaging or readily available somewhere in the store.

And, as other have mentioned, all Starbucks staff  would need to be educated in cross-contamination.

Thank you so much for even considering this -- as you can see, there are many, many people who have to live gluten-free, and every little bit of education helps us have better lives.

annezav
1/12/2009 5:16 PM

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?

Any baked good would outstanding! Even a biscotti would be great. Honestly, anything that allows me to pick something up on the run or enjoy something with friends (like a normal person!) would be great. The honest truth is that Starbucks is not a place I usually stop for coffee, but if Starbucks provided a (few?) gluten free options, that would be enough to change my purchasing habits.  Also, when my friends and I go out, I often get to choose where we go to eat and drink, because my firends want me to be comfortable wherever we go. A change in my habits also means a change in my friend's habits as well. Finally, news travels very quickly in the celiac community. Even my non-celiac friends let me know when they discover that a new place is offering gluten free options.

• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?

Individually packaged to prevent cross-contamination, with ingredients listed on the package.

• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?

I trust the formalized, written word more than I trust people, as all too often people are mistaken about what actually constitutes "gluten-free."  A sign would be great, as would a comment from a barista, but a list of ingredients on the package would be best so I could confirm the product's gluten free status. It would also be great to know whether the product was made in a gluten free facility. Many celiacs will only buy products made in dedicated facilities.

• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?

Either way, as long as they are individually wrapped. I think making them visible for people who are waiting in line would be important.

• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

Yes. All gluten free products are more expensive.

KimR
1/12/2009 6:05 PM

My 6 year old son was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  He loves coming to starbucks for treats.  We would love to see any Gluten free options on your menu.  Muffins,cookies and brownies would be great individually wrapped and clearly labeled.  We would be happy to pay a premium for the products.  This would help greatly with our transition into the Gluten Free world.

scarletq
1/12/2009 6:48 PM

Thanks for considering offering gluten-free baked goods in Starbucks stores.  Please understand that the level of gluten considered safe for celiacs is 20 parts per million or less -- that is, invisible to the eye.  So products must be packaged to avoid contamination by your conventional products.  If you must start with a limited offering, how about one sweet and one savory item.  I'm sure you will be rewarded by increased business!  

PS Please help your employees to be aware of food allergy/intolerance issues so at least they will know where to get the information next time I ask which creamers and coffee flavors are gluten-free . . .

Lisa Lundy
1/12/2009 9:25 PM

Wow!  This is exciting.  If you are considering gluten-free, then I hope that you will consider going to the next level, because that will expand your customer base and market place potential.  The next level would be gluten-free and dairy-free and if you take out the eggs, you have an even larger market potential.  I can address the market place statistics with you if your marketing or product development team is the least bit interested.  I would even help you with foods so delicious, no one would know that they were gluten-free, let alone dairy or egg free (peanut and tree-nut free also!)  Contact me for the data.

love,

Lisa A. Lundy

www.thesuperallergycookbook.com

Public Speaker & Author of:

The Super Allergy Girl™ Allergy & Celiac Cookbook


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