Posted by Paula Oliveira on November 29, 2013 02:02 PM
One year ago, speakers at the Sustainable Brands Conference in London focused on three key themes: unified vision, collaboration and simplicity. In 2013, many speakers addressed the same themes once more. Does that mean nothing has changed? Or have we lost our imagination?
In fact, things have changed. Fewer business professionals question nowadays if sustainability (or triple bottom line, social responsibility, corporate citizenship, or whatever you want to call it) is good for business, and it is now more intrinsically linked to business strategy. More sustainability advocates are capable of proving with strong business cases that the investment pays off.
For instance, UK retailer Marks & Spencer says in its annual report that the net benefit generated by Plan A (M&S’s commitment to sustainable business) was £135 million, an increase of 29 percent over the previous year, and during the conference, Adam Elman, M&S Global Head of Delivery, said Plan A has delivered 193 percent return on investment. Not bad, is it? Another example is Kering (formerly PPR, owner of brands such as Gucci and Puma), which pioneered a methodology to value the ‘ecosystem services’ it uses to produce Puma’s sports shoes and clothes. But it's not all about costs: “At Kering, sustainability is seen as an opportunity. Sustainability creates value and stimulates innovation," said Marie-Claire Daveu, the company's Chief Sustainability Officer, who joined the business due to its CEO’s strong commitment to sustainability. “Leadership commitment is everything in this area."Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 20, 2013 04:02 PM
Bakery-cafe Panera Bread has had a rough go at it lately, with its extensive menu turning out to be a hard sell. So the fast-casual restaurant is hoping further investment in one of its simplest offerings pays off.
In partnership with coffee provider Disant Lands Coffee, the restaurant is launching four varieties of its cafe coffee in K-Cup form, following in the footsteps of cafe rival Starbucks. The four flavors—dark roast, light roast, Colombia, and hazelnut crème—are the same ones served up at the chain’s more than 1,700 locations, according to Food Business News. The effort will bring the Panera brand into Supervalues, Save Marts, Hy-Vees, Dierbergs, and select Winn-Dixie locations across the country.
"Our customers appreciate the level of care we put into our menu, like our commitment to fresh coffee, on the hour, in every bakery-cafe," said Stephanie Crimmins, vice-president of Panera Bread. "With Panera Single-Serve Cups we are offering them the same fresh coffee experience in their own kitchen."Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on November 15, 2013 01:45 PM
While Starbucks is busy expanding its brand—and its offerings—across the globe, the coffee behemoth has popped up in an unlikely place.
In partnership with Switzerland's national rail line, the brand opened its first Starbucks cafe on a train this week. Complete with Starbucks motif inside and out, the moving cafe serves up typical Starbucks fare from authentic baristas.
The car, which will take its first voyage from Geneva Airport to St. Gallen in Switzerland on Nov. 21, is one of the smallest Starbucks cafes the brand has ever built.Continue reading...
see you in court
Posted by Dale Buss on November 13, 2013 01:29 PM
It may be difficult to argue with both Starbucks and Kraft packaged coffee businesses at the moment: Starbucks' brand is busting out beyond the brand's own coffee houses, while Kraft is on the cusp of a potentially exciting new CPG opportunity with McDonald's McCafe brand.
The only thing is, it just cost Starbucks $2.7 billion to get to this point. That's how much an arbitrator has ordered Starbucks to pay Kraft's corporate sibling, Mondelez International, as a result of their failed CPG-coffee partnership that ended in a dispute. It'll take all of Starbucks' cash on hand plus more to make the payment to Mondelez.
Kraft first did the deal to distribute Starbucks-brand packs of coffee in 1998, and by 2010 it had grown to a $500 million-a-year business, the Wall Street Journal reported. But Starbucks accused Kraft of not doing a very good job of displaying Starbucks coffee inside stores and of otherwise doing a poor job of marketing the Starbucks brand. That critique came in spite of the sales growth and after giving Kraft credit for its "world-class" capabilities. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 1, 2013 06:11 PM
Well, it works for Starbucks. So why can't McDonald's also sell packaged versions of its McCafe coffee line in US supermarkets?
The struggling fast-food giant will begin testing just that idea next year in a deal with Kraft. The tests will include packages of whole bean and ground coffee as well as "single-cup" options, which typically include K-cups for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' popular Keurig brewer. Test markets and pricing were not disclosed, Crain's Chicago Business noted.
"We want to work with McDonald's to help consumers enjoy McCafe premium coffee in the comfort and convenience of their own homes," Kraft Foods CEO Tony Vernon told analysts on a conference call, disclosing the test for the first time. Kraft will handle the marketing and distribution of the McDonald's brand coffee. McDonald's said in a statement it was "building on the momentum of our McCafe beverages in our restaurants by expanding these options," according to the publication.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 25, 2013 11:21 AM
Following its approximately $620 million acquisition last November, Starbucks has opened its first cafe-style Teavana location on Madison Avenue in New York City, betting that the 300-store strong specialty-tea retailer will give the coffee giant a large cut of the $90 billion global tea market.
With tea being the second most-consumed drink after water, Starbucks plans to open at least 1,000 Teavana bars (which differ from retail Teavana shops currently found in shopping malls) in North America in the next five years, as well as expand rapidly worldwide, with an eye first on tea-loving Asia.
“Tea has been a part of Starbucks heritage since 1971, when we were founded as Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spices," Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz (who attended the NYC Teavana opening this week, below) commented in a press release, "and this new store concept elevates the tea experience in the same way we’ve done for coffee.”Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 23, 2013 06:21 PM
Starbucks may be based in Seattle, but it has generally left most of the tech innovations to its neighbors Amazon and Microsoft. But now the coffee giant is investing in new technology that will better connect its coffee makers, refrigerators and other appliances.
This eco-friendly embrace of the Internet of Things will allow it to “track customer preferences, allow recipes to be digitally updated, and help staffers remotely monitor a coffee maker’s performance,” Bloomberg reports. Connected fridges will tell Starbucks employees from afar when milk inside has gone bad—no sniff test needed—and make its operations more efficient.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on October 23, 2013 12:06 PM
Starbucks has been suffering a beating from China's press regarding its high prices lately. The state-run media outlets, including a special CCTV report, accused Starbucks of discriminating against Chinese consumers by selling coffee at much higher prices than in other nations.
But this week, everyone else dropped the hammer on CCTV, calling out China's official news organization for frothing up of nationalist disgust with foreign enterprises in China. (A fate also suffered this year by, amongst others, Apple.) In fact, CCTV's attack on the coffee giant says a lot more about CCTV in modern China than it does about Starbucks.
While Apple eventually folded and apologized, even though a significant portion of Chinese consumers were on Apple's side, Starbucks has online personalities to thank for coming to its defense against CCTV, with no 'apology' in sight. Instead, Starbucks' responded to the charges, saying, basically that CCTV was right. The chain, noting that its margins were the same, pointed to several realities of its China business that make production more expensive. This reasoning got a boost from other online media such as news clearinghouse 163.com—the "Huffington Post of China"—which published a special section dedicated to the Starbucks case, examining and explaining the perfectly normal economic practice of price discrimination.Continue reading...