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Starbucks Commits to More Plant-Based Options

The coffeehouse giant plans to tap into the lucrative plant-based industry to help lift its profits with more food and drink offerings.

Starbucks released its quarter-earning report last week, which showed that the coffeehouse giant fell short of its estimated profits. During an analyst call, CEO Kevin Johnson revealed Starbucks’ strategy to lift sales is to shift focus toward developing more plant-based beverage and food options. “We are leaning into our fast-growing categories around Cold Brew, Draft Nitro beverages, and plant-based modifiers, including almond, coconut, and soy milk alternatives,” Johnson said. “Not only are these fast-growing platforms highly relevant to our customers, our research demonstrates that they also provide a significant opportunity to drive [sales] outside of our core morning sales window.” Starbucks head of real estate John Culver confirmed that the brand will be actively pursuing the plant-based crowd. "Plant-based beverages and alternatives [are a] big area of opportunity for us,” Culver said, "and our customers are asking for it.” The coffeehouse introduced almond milk in 2016 and has since slowly experimented with vegan-friendly signature beverages and launched its first vegan-certified lunch option earlier this year. On the retail end, Starbucks announced last month that it would debut a plant-based formulation of its iconic bottled Frappuccinos—in mocha and vanilla flavors—by May 2018.

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