Starbucks Revamps Food Menu with Italian Baked Goods

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Starbucks Revamps Food Menu with Italian Baked Goods

By Kathy Hayden - 12/11/2017

A recent Eater feature may have caused a bit of déjà vu when it reported that Starbucks was rolling out a new food and pastry menu in partnership with Princi, an Italian bakery-cafe with five locations in Europe.

The move sounds familiar because just five years ago and with much fanfare, “Starbucks bought La Boulange, a San Francisco-area bakery chain, for $100 million and began stocking all Starbucks stores with La Boulange pastries – but by 2014, customers soured on the fancier European-style baked goods, and the company ended up nixing the pastries and shuttering all standalone La Boulange stores,” Eater noted.

Will this second time be the charm in bringing better baked goods to the coffee-chain giant? The plan entails stocking Starbucks’ Roasteries and Reserve locations around the world with “house-baked breads, focaccia pizza with buffalo mozzarella, and sandwiches stuffed with bresaola and mortadella.” Items will be baked on-site, a first for Starbucks, and there are no printed menus. Eater reported that “diners will have to engage with the counter staff, known as ‘commessas,’ to learn more about what’s available at the moment.”

The bigger story here is that the bakery-café foodservice market is still underserved. Currently, Panera, Au Bon Pain and a handful of bagel-centric concepts are the only other players, which means there’s room for more settings – especially grocerants – to provide better sweet and savory baked goods, as well as heartier sandwiches.

Grocerant-Ready Ideas:

  • More savory pastries like empanadas, stromboli and sausage rolls for fresh grab-and-go
  • Daily baked specials packaged with specialty soups
  • Better coffee service to compete with bakery-café concepts