Starbucks launches UK food drive to extend its reach beyond coffee

Starbucks is pushing its largest ever investment in food in the UK through a flurry of new products and revamped packaging in an attempt to extend its reach beyond coffee and take a larger bite out of the fast-food market.

Starbucks is adding Duffins – a hybrid of a donut and muffin – to its new food range.

The coffee chain will introduce a selection of baked goods for its breakfast range alongside sandwiches, soups, salads and Duffins – a hybrid of a donut and muffin – nationwide from today (3 October). Refreshed packaging and menu designs will support the move with the retailer highlighting the “artisan nature” of the products.

In turn, this is being backed by an advertising campaign to promote the breakfast lineup throughout October. The retailer has attempted to diversify its food offering for the last two years, but they have been overshadowed somewhat by continued innovations around its coffee such as the Origin Espresso launched earlier this year.

Julie Prebble, category manager at Starbucks UK, says: ”The team has worked hard to perfect existing recipes, as well as create new innovative products such as the Duffin. We know from our trials and customer insights, that this new food range will be a great success, complimenting the quality drinks we handcraft in our stores every day.”

Starbucks, which recently revealed UK sales in its third quarter were higher than that in the same quarter of 2012, is hoping the move will strengthen its efforts to take on rivals such as Pret a Manger, Eat and Itsu as it looks to offset intense competition from the likes of McDonald’s, Costa and KFC for coffee sales in the region.

Industry analysts predict a more concerted push for food could provide a platform for growth through innovation and help ensure the UK remains one of Starbucks’ top markets outside of the Americas.

Mary Waireri, senior research executive at River Research, says the brand will need to be wary of marketing the food proposition to customers increasingly concerned and educated about the provenance and sustainability of goods.

She adds: “As well as expecting a variety of culinary influences and fresh ingredients, consumers are also interested in provenance, food miles, organic ranges and other ethical issues. Dietary concerns are also increasingly prominent. Compared to competitors such as M&S Food, Itsu and Pret, Starbucks’ food messaging is not yet as developed.

“Also, the new La Boulange Menu [,the baked goods range Starbucks began rolling out to its US outlets earlier this year] appears to place the brand’s food offer more firmly in the ‘treat’ occasion, which raises questions as to whether it will meet the needs of a more cosmopolitan, health-conscious UK consumer.”

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