The holidays traditionally begin on Thanksgiving and run through Christmas. Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) will jump-start its holiday early–today. The decision should help the company continue the surge in sales it posted during the last quarter.
Seattle, Washington-based Starbucks plans to release an old, and traditional coffee and add a number of beverages to customers. It hopes to extend its success last quarter when comparable store sales rose 4% in the U.S. Just as important, its earnings showed people spent more per visit at its stores. The new Starbucks products should allow that trend to continue
Starbucks’ most important holiday product, according to its list, is its “Christmas Blend,” a staple of its year-end sales for decades. The thinking behind the strategy, according to Kristy Cameron from the Starbucks Creative Studio, is “We started this season by looking to the past.”
A number of other holiday drinks, some which Starbucks has had on the menu for years, will also hit stores today. These include Peppermint Mocha, Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, Caramel Brulée Latte, Chestnut Praline Latte, Gingerbread Latte and Eggnog Latte, all available as hot, iced and Frappuccino blended beverages. Peppermint Mocha will celebrate its 16th season at Starbucks this year.
Another part of the Starbucks holiday plan is also part of a long tradition. Its stores will be redecorated and its employees will add holiday touches to their clothing. This includes red aprons for its baristas
Starbucks will also pour coffee in cups it has used for the holidays for decades. The practice goes back to 1977. The year, Starbucks will use four holiday cups. It calls these Stipes, Flora, Espresso Houndstooth, and Stargyle. Each has the Starbucks logo and a different pattern on the outside of the cup.
Starbucks will also add significantly to its menu. These include “Chocolate Swirl Brioche, Pistachio Honey Croissant, and the Sugarplum Cheese Danish. While these products are new. Starbucks will bring back several products it has marketed before– Gingerbread Loaf, Penguin Cake Pop, Peppermint Brownie Cake Pop, Snowman Cookie, Cranberry Bliss Bar, Carved Ham & Swiss Breakfast Sandwich and Holiday Turkey Panini.” Chocolate Swirl Brioche has a chocolate filling. Sugarplum Cheese Danish is butter laden. Sugarplum Cheese Danish is made with cream cheese and plum.
The stores will also offer holiday gifts that will include tumblers, mugs, and gift cards.
Most of these will cost people at the waistline. Some Starbucks Frappuccino drinks have more than 400 calories. The Cranberry Bliss Bar has 300. The holidays, however, are traditionally a time when people eat, drink, and be merry.
The holidays have come early to Starbucks and likely with them a surge in store traffic.