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Specialty Menu Items Drive Starbucks Demand
Starbucks has an edge: it knows what its consumers want.
The company was years ahead of the plant-based movement, offering consumers plant-based milk options (for a 70-cent upcharge) since 2004, most recently adding Oat Milk to its list of choices in March of 2021.
Now Starbucks is getting ahead of another major consumer trend: Boosting Immunity.
Consumers are increasingly leveraging functional ingredients from probiotics to Ginseng to improve things like gut health and their immune system.
Demand for Starbuck’s Medicine Ball Tea exploded over the last 2 months as the Omicron variant and flu season took hold in December.
The drink features ingredients like mint, green tea, peach, citrus, and honey alongside steamed water, provides functional benefits that consumers are craving…and most importantly, brought more consumers in the door.
In fact, Google Trends reveals that consumers searching for Medicine Ball tea most often turned to Starbucks.
While this trend does appear to have peaked, it demonstrates Starbucks’ ability to remain timely and develop products that meet consumer needs.
Overall, Holiday menu items and specialty items helped to spark a momentum shift for Starbucks in the last quarter. While we can’t know how the company is performing in its second-largest market (China), English-speaking data is turning positive.