Food Ideas in Action


As you may have noticed, many exciting things are happening around food at Starbucks.  One of the areas the Food team has been focused on is offering foods made with fewer ingredients.  If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to try some of our new pastries – we’ve eliminated high-fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, artificial flavors and artificial trans fats from many of the items in the food case.

The Food team also heard your ideas around gluten-free choices, so this summer we introduced the Gluten-free Valencia Cake and KIND Bars.

We are currently offering KIND Bars in three flavors – Cranberry Almond, Fruit and Nut, Mango Macadamia.  These bars are not only delicious, but also gluten and dairy-free.  The packaging makes them a great option for those of you who are looking for a quick and easy snack on the go.

The gluten-free Valencia Cake was truly inspired by you, our MSI community.  However, since we launched this product, not only did our sales reflect the lack of demand, but you told us that even though the cake was delicious, it was too much of a treat.

The Food team is continuing their work to support our gluten-sensitive customers and plan on sharing some exciting news with you right here on MSI sometime in the near future.  Keep your ideas coming – we are listening!

8/3/2009 12:12 PM

I was so excited the other day to see that you were offering smoothies as there is no place in this area to get a healthy smoothie.  We used to have a smoothie place but it went out of business.  I had the Strawberry Banana Vivianno and it tasted funny to me.  I almost went back through the drive-thru to order something else but I didn't have time.  I won't order it again.  Healthy is good but not if it doesn't taste good.  I hope you will offer something else that tastes better and will still be healthy.

8/3/2009 2:48 PM

I haven't had a chance to try the Valencia cake yet, none of the places I went to had it available =(.

But the Vivano smoothies were okay. I personally think they tasted great being the healthy drink - not too sweet. But I like the Mango strawberry banana smoothie more than the Strawberry banana one. aybe crazychef, you can try that the next time! :D

8/3/2009 4:16 PM

Hello Food Team,

Are you really listening to all your customers?  My daughter (4yrs old) and I used to share a cinnamon scone regularly on our way to work/school.  Ever since you changed your recipe, she no longer wants to stop at Starbucks!  I emphatically support your desire to offer healthier alternatives but please not at the cost of some of your old-time favorites.  If you wanted to eliminate all fat and calories from your products, you would have to discard offering half of the drinks on your menu!

Is there a chance at all that some of the former pastry items will return?


8/3/2009 5:23 PM

I'd love to enjoy a newly formulated pastry at Starbucks but there are no gluten free selections.  What a let down!

8/4/2009 6:32 AM

Besides the pastries whatever happened to a breakfast sandwich with egg whites and no cheese and meat? I thought the food team was creating some new breakfast sandwiches?

8/5/2009 7:22 AM

I just hear about the gluten-free valencia cake a week ago and went to the site (that day) and all the information on it was still there and it said it was available. Then I discovered it was discontinued! I haven't heard from anyone that they even got a chance to try it let alone say it was "too much of a treat".  A lot of the gluten-free community is upset with Starbucks and would greatly appreciate it if you would reintroduce the gf valencia cake or something else (not just KIND bars).

8/5/2009 9:54 PM

I Thank you for wanting to do something for the gluten free community. BUT am very upset with your decision to remove the orange valencia cake. It was so good! When you put it out I though "Finally, someone is listening to us!" now you want to put KIND bars out instead? have you tasted them??? I eat gluten free and wouldn't choose them as a "Treat" ,I eat them if I have nothing else.....PLEASE listen to us! you need to give it more time, maybe advertise more! BRING BACK GLUTEN FREE TREATS PLEASE

8/6/2009 6:45 AM


I am somewhat confused by this blog post. Where did customers say that the Valencia Cake was too much of a treat? Also, I find it rather amusing that because of "lack of demand" you are not going to continue selling it.  Since the introduction of PPR 1000's of people have voiced their opinions that product you call coffee that tastes like ****. Yet, nothing is done.

8/6/2009 9:50 AM

use local bakers for  treats and such.

current foods are  to processed and stale

8/6/2009 7:39 PM

Starbucks really needs GLUTEN FREE items.  Had the Valencia several times, but it was super sweet.  Would not make a habit of eating that much sugar.    I second the idea (above) of local bakeries as a source for fresh gluten free items.  I know several that have gluten free biscotti and cookies.  Am thinking biscotti would cross over to more than just GF customers.  Most of my friend like the gluten free biscotti and don't think it tastes odd at all.  Biscotti and Starbucks coffee--a winner!!

8/7/2009 7:19 AM

BTW, CheshireCat is me, Momiji. I'm gueesing sbx_bean figured that out though. lol

8/11/2009 7:08 PM

Myself, friends & acquaintances all loved your previous organic oatmeal cookie and the new SB has out is not any better than any store bakery oatmeal cookie. Pleas bring back the organic oatmeal cookie  

8/12/2009 10:12 AM

I fully understand that you are wanting to improve your menu. But at our Starbucks, we LOVED LOVED LOVED the chocolate donuts!!!! Everytime my friends and I would go in and get one (different time of the day) they would be sold out. We were learing when the truck came in just so we could get a couple, and to find out that it was one of our stores most popular pastry, why take it off???  Some things are meant to be left alone, and the things that sell are one of them.  For the GF and health conscious people they also have a selection, but PLEASE let those of us who love our chocolate donut with our coffee, be able to have the same pleasure.

8/13/2009 7:02 PM

Please try Udi's blueberry muffins and then you will know that you have to include this as one of your foods! Its GF and I would dare to say better than most glutinous muffins out there! Its that good!  I think that Starbucks needs to include foods that people will eat whether they are on the diet or not.  While I greatly appreciate Starbucks for opening the door for us GF people the Valencia cake is not the best sorry to say. But please at least try Udi's muffin  and then it will open your minds to the fact that there are some very tasty options out there for GF.

8/18/2009 12:24 PM

Loved the orange cake, could eat 3 a day, its not too sweet for me.

8/19/2009 8:35 PM

It is so fantastic that Starbucks is working hard to accommodate the diverse needs of people and their varying diets, but neither of these options are vegan-friendly. The KIND bars are dairy-free, but they contain honey, which many vegans abstain from. LUNA and Clif bars are vegan, and are mostly organic and all-natural. Could you keep us vegans in mind? Thanks so much!

10/16/2009 9:13 AM

The problem with the gf valencia muffins I think had much more to do with marketing/promotion.   I go to Starbucks daily, and had no idea they existed until I went inside.  Within three days they were discontinued.  Thanks for the KIND bars, but a gf pastry would be appreciated!  I also agree it was a little on the sweet side.    

11/25/2009 2:09 PM

I was only able to BUY a valencia cake twice because no Starbucks I was in ever had them.  And I frequent 5 different locations.  SO maybe the reason sales didn't meet expectations was that the product wasn't available.  

In addition, most good quality GF pastries are made of multiple kinds of flour so the people that didn't like this product were likely responding to the taste/texture of an all rice flour product.

What about getting GF biscotti?  These already come individually wrapped and have a good shelf life.  Even non-GF people are likely to enjoy these.  Or maybe a gluten free brownie.  Check out Mariposa Bakery or Pamela's Products for some very good GF foods.

12/8/2009 2:25 PM

I agree with Mirare.  The Mariposa products are very yummy.  Although, they are a treat too.  I consider pastries, donuts, scones, and biscottis treats!  So what's the dif?  

12/8/2009 10:42 PM

Please, please bring back some kind of gluten free pastry/cookie/snack.  A "bar" is just not the same.  Even Betty Crocker now makes Gluten Free cake mix, cookie mix, and brownie mix, surely Starbucks could offer a gluten free cookie or brownie!  Thanks for listening.

12/9/2009 9:16 AM

Surely there is something GF you can offer other than the Kind bars.  The orange cake was great!!!  I agree if Betty Crocker can do it, surely Starbucks can.  Thanks!!!!!!  

12/16/2009 1:28 PM

The valencia cake was wonderful.  As a celiac that travels for a living, it was one small thing I could count on anywhere I travel--DC, Huntsville, AL, Honolulu, you get the meaning.

Now I have nothing.  I get to watch people eat.  

As for fruit and nut bars, the last thing that celiacs need is more nuts and fruit.  Everyone one seems to think that is good, but believe me, some good old fashion carbs that we can enjoy with a cup of coffee is a "rare" find.  

I know that those cakes were hard to store (gluten free food molds very quickly), but they were a lifeline for me.

Thanks for caring.

12/8/2011 6:00 PM

never had the valencia cake but would have loved to try it. Starbucks, please do not give up on offering GF baked goods. So many out there with GF sensitivities. I noticed in England you all have a wonderful Chocolate Hazelnut loaf that is to die for. Please bring something like that America. Thanks

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