Wednesday, January 10, 2007

egg-and-cheese wars

Mmmm. Looks like breakfast is the meal that many food franchises are focusing on, and Starbucks is joining in. After all, if you can't make money off commuters, students, and moms-who-just-dropped-their-kids-off-at-school out there, who can you make money off of?

Let's take a glance over the article, 'kay?

Last Wednesday at a Starbucks in Times Square, Katie Voss, a nursing student, was drinking one of the chain’s new coffee creations, a cinnamon-flavored low-fat latte. Ms. Voss, who was visiting from Maryland, said she visits Starbucks every day — up to three times a day, in fact — but rarely eats anything.

“I’ve been burned too many times by that pastry case,” she said.

Neither of the whole-grain, trans-fat-free pastries — a cinnamon loaf and a banana muffin — that Starbucks introduced that day were sufficiently alluring to change her mind.

“I try to fill up on coffee here,” she said, “so I won’t be tempted to get an Egg McMuffin before lunch.”

Right away I'm thinking: she's a nursing student, and she can afford to get Starbucks coffee up to three times daily? And, Ms. Voss apparently has eaten countless pastries in the past. How can she do this? Does she have a part-time job? If she does have a job on the side, you know it's off-campus somewhere, because campus job pay is notoriously low. If she only had Starbucks twice a week, think of all the money she'd save for other important college things, like keggers.

Starbucks has realized that it has historically offered only cold breakfast items, like muffins and scones and bars. Now, it's offering hot sandwiches - gussied-up Egg McMuffins, if you will.
The breakfast sandwiches, with upscale ingredients like peppered bacon and sun-dried tomatoes, are being gradually rolled out across the country as part of a concerted — and some say long overdue — effort by Starbucks to improve its food. “We are going to be all about premium and upscale ingredients, bold and layered flavors,” said Kathleen Kennedy, the chain’s recently hired director for food research and development.
You're going to be all about upscale prices to pay for those upscale ingredients, too. You may get some business execs to buy those sandwiches, but I can tell you that college students' tastebuds aren't especially developed (what else can explain all the Domino's Pizza boxes and empty cans of Milwaukee's Best?), so they aren't going to care if the tomatoes are sun-dried and the bacon has some pepper on it.
The bakery items are still produced at about 50 different bakeries, and shipped daily to the stores. Some items, especially seasonal ones like the wintry Cranberry Bliss bar and new ones like last week’s Five Fruit Banana muffins, are made in one or two locations, shipped frozen, and simply thawed before serving.
So that's where the bakery items come from. I'm still upset that the Cranberry Bliss bar is only offered the last two months of the year - who wants to join me in a petition?

No comments:

Post a Comment