Starbucks cites new latte for UK growth

Starbucks says that its new UK latte and an initiative to improve in-store experience by using customers’ first names have helped boost sales in the first three months of this year.


The coffee chain says sales of lattes and cappuccinos increased by 9% year-on-year in the three months to 1 April, following the introduction of the new drink and a supporting marketing campaign.

The new latte includes an additional shot of espresso and a better way of steaming milk.

Performance in the UK outpaced the rest of Europe where like-for-like sales fell 1%.

Starbucks also claims that following the improvements “discerning coffee drinkers” preferred the Starbucks latte by 66% to 29% in blind taste tests carried out independently.
Previously, rival Costa ran an advertising campaign claiming that seven out of 10 coffee drinkers prefer its coffee to Starbucks.

Ian Cranna, Starbucks UK and Ireland vice president of marketing, says: “The campaign was our biggest yet and the extra sales of latte and cappuccino is one clear measure of success. It also generated tremendous buzz in every type of media and made Starbucks part of the national conversation for weeks.

“The changes we’ve made are differentiating Starbucks in a crowded market and that gives us a long-lasting benefit. We are getting to know our customers better by exchanging names and we’re making lattes and cappuccinos in a new way, which customers here strongly prefer.”

Net revenue across the EMEA region increased 14% to $272.4m (£167.9m) during the period but the region reported an operating loss of $5.5m (£3.4m) compared to income of $7.7m (£4.7m) for the same period a year ago.

Starbucks is reported to be planning to roll out its My Starbucks loyalty programme to other European countries in a bid to improve customer service and boost performance after launching it in the UK in January.

Total net revenue increased 15% globally to $3.2bn (£2bn). Like-for-like sales across the group, which strip out sales from stores opened in the past year increased 7%, driven by more customer transactions.

Revenues from new channels, such as packaged coffee sales, increased 57% during the period, which Starbucks says is a result of shifting to a direct distribution model from a distribution partnership a year ago.

Costa recently announced a partnership with Kraft to launch branded coffee for use in its Tassimo ‘at home’ coffee machines.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here