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Starbucks is reminding customers it also has food

Daniel Roberts
Senior Writer

Starbucks (SBUX) has been making a big push into fancier coffee offerings, with 1,000 “Reserve” stores planned across the globe and 30 “Reserve Roastery” rooms with pour-over coffee, siphon-brewing, and beer and wine.

But Starbucks also wants to be about more than coffee. The company is very clearly trying to remind customers that it has food, too—and that its food is tasty and healthy.

This year alone, Starbucks has rolled out: “sous vide egg bites” (in two varieties: bacon & gruyere, egg white & roasted pepper); organic chicken sandwiches and tomato soup; gluten-free breakfast sandwiches; organic avocado spread that comes in a tin; and, announced at its annual shareholder meeting this week, a new lunch menu of “grab-and-go salads and sandwiches.”

Starbucks sous vide egg bites (L) and avocado spread (via Starbucks)

And the Reserve stores and Roasteries serve fancy snacks and pizza from Princi, an Italian bakery in which Starbucks invested.

This isn’t the coffee chain’s first foray into speciality food. In 2012 Starbucks bought San Francisco bakery chain La Boulange for $100 million with plans to serve the bakery’s pastries. Then Starbucks shut all La Boulange locations in 2015.

In case the average customer isn’t aware of all the new food offerings at Starbucks, its new television ad campaign, “Good Mornings Start Here,” shows customers beginning their day with a Starbucks coffee—and breakfast sandwich.

Food now represents 20% of Starbucks’ US retail sales. Expect the proportion to keep rising.

Daniel Roberts is a writer at Yahoo Finance, covering sports business, technology, and coffee. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.

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