Starbucks ties with Pod to expand food offer

Starbucks is partnering with healthy fast food brand Pod as part of a wider menu expansion to capture elusive afternoon footfall.

Starbucks will see Pod products alongside its existing own-branded food offering.

The tie-up will see Pod products including shredded pork wraps and barbecue chicken dishes sold as part of Starbucks’ breakfast and lunch ranges. Products will remain on-sale for an unspecified period at three stores in central London – Oxford Circus, Moorgate and Pentonville Road – from tomorrow (25 September).

Should Pods’ products prove a hit with coffee lovers then Starbucks could expand the venture to other stores, as it has previously done with its own-brand breakfast menu. The coffee chain had piloted foods such as sandwiches, soups and salads in select stores ahead of a nationwide rollout last year.

Co-branded leaflets will be made available in each store to help promote the offer.

Starbucks is experimenting with food and non-coffee beverages to try and increase dwell time in-stores worldwide, particularly in key markets such as the UK where it faces greater stronger competition from the likes of McDonald’s and smaller, more artisan coffee chains throughout the day.

Steve Flanagan, marketing and category director of Starbucks UK, says the business believes that “great coffee deserves to be paired with great food”. Food was singled out as a growth driver in its latest quarter, when sales jumped 11 per cent year-on-year to $4.15bn (£2.44bn).

“We’re committed to giving our customers choice – there are over 80,000 ways to customise our drinks – and this new partnership with pod demonstrates our continued commitment to exploring how we can deliver a more improved food offering”, adds Flanagan.

For Pod, the venture has the potential to give the small business nationwide exposure. It was founded in 2005 as a healthy alternative to the small burger and pizza chains such as Byron Burger and Wahaca that have sprung up across the capital and has 23 stores.