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Starbucks has unleashed a new weapon in the war against McDonald's — and it's great news for consumers

Kate Taylor
Starbucks deal

Starbucks is taking a note from the fast-food industry's playbook.

The coffee chain is now offering a limited-time $8 Power Lunch deal, that combines a sandwich, salad, or bistro box; popcorn, pretzels, or chips; banana or fruit bar; and a bottle of Ethos water.

That's right — a Starbucks deal that doesn't involve any of the coffee beverages that Starbucks is best known for.

The savings of buying the bundle instead of each item separately come out to about $3 or $4, according to Brand Eating. The deal is available at participating Starbucks through May 30.

The bundled deal has been the hottest promotion in the world of fast food in 2016.

Wendy's started the trend, launching the "four for $4" promotion in October, selling a junior bacon cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, fries, and a drink for $4.

McPick 1

(Hollis Johnson)
The original options for McDonald's McPick 2

McDonald's followed in Wendy's footsteps with the McPick 2 menu, a bundled deal that that company said helped drive a 5.4% first-quarter increase in sales at US locations open more than a year. McDonald's began testing a breakfast version of the deal in March, and is planning on expanding the deal to include regional favorites starting May 24.

Burger King answered with a "five for $4" promotion, announced just days after McDonald's rolled out the McPick 2. In April, Burger King's parent company, Restaurant Brands International, reported that the chain's sales at locations open more than a year increased 4.4% in the US and Canada, thanks in part to the bundled deal as well as the successful launch of Grilled Dogs.

Starbucks' deal most likely won't have the impact that these promotions have had in driving sales in the fast-food industry. However, when even the coffee chain is jumping on board, it's clear that bundled deals are a force to be reckoned with in 2016. 

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