In 2010, The Wall Street Journal posted a story indicating economists look toward Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts for insight on consumer spending. The story cited data from Majestic Research that showed while consumers spent less at the two coffee chains during the recession, as their optimisim over employment improved, so did their willingness to spend more per transaction at the two coffee chains.
With the announcement in regard to Starbucks' acquisition of Evolution Fresh, perhaps it's time the industry looks to Starbucks again to see where their focus should be. The evolution of the health and wellness sector of operations can be seen in brands such as Jamba Juice, which reported a system-wide same-store sales increase of 3.7% for its third quarter. And now that Jamba is offering coffee, and Starbucks is entering the juice space, perhaps there are things they can learn from each other.
Starbucks executives said the company's entry into the juice space is intended to jumpstart its foray into the $50 billion health and wellness sector. The company also has plans to launch a separate health and wellness concept in mid 2012. With the company's track record of growth, and its operational prowess, the chain is well poised to make such a venture a success.
Additionally, consumers have proven they are willing to pay more for higher quality products, a fact that has well-positioned the fast casual segment overall. Will they be willing to pay those same high prices for healthier-for-you juice items, especially from a company such as Starbucks? My bet is that they will.
As the founder of P-O-P Content & Communications, Valerie Killifer brings her passion for creative thinking and relationship development to the forefront of her business. She spent 15 years as a professional journalist and continues to write about the brands, people and trends impacting the restaurant industry.