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The national coffee chain Starbucks, long known for specializing in breakfast foods, is looking to expand on their food menu with later-day items. According to Eater, who report that the blogger Starbucks Melody was the first to share this news, Starbucks has begun testing a new line of brunch items at 78 stores across the greater Portland and Seattle area.
Included in this testing phase are such foods as quiche (spinach and Swiss, or bacon and Swiss), French toast, and Belgian waffles topped with blueberries, powdered sugar, and syrup. The test began on August 27, and doesn’t have a definite end date. Starbucks Melody guesses that this will last for six-to-eight weeks.
These items are only being served on weekends, from 8 am to 2 pm or whenever they sell out.
Breakfast sandwiches are a hot trend in food sales, with Bloomberg reporting that Starbucks alone has seen a 40 percent sales increase from 2015 to 2016. Consumers’ increasingly fast-paced lifestyles have fueled this trend, and the inclusion of brunch items is motivated by Americans’ renewed interest in brunch over the past few years.
Starbucks’ brunch items may be less geared towards fast-paced consumers, however. Belgian waffles and French toast make for difficult foods to eat on the go, although this move could motivate more customers to eat in-store. This would help to enhance the company’s customer experience, also referred to as its “third place”.
Will retail bakeries look to follow this new sales strategy from Starbucks? Brunch items may be more difficult to implement, but if done right they can bring in an entirely new set of customers who are seeking the brunch experience.