Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fool for Starbucks

Motley Fool, That Is!

I have mixed feelings about Starbucks. I'm glad that the company shows an interest in satisfying people on gluten-free diets, but I'm annoyed that this interest has barely emerged from the test-marketing phase since 2007 at the very least, as evidenced by this post and this post and this post.

So I had something of an "Uh-oh, here we go again" feeling when Starbucks made its latest request for consumer input. But it's now gotten some attention in the form of the article "A Smart Strategy for Starbucks" by Tim Beyers at The Motley Fool (January 27, 2008), which concludes that "A gluten-free menu could be the shot of espresso this business needs."

And maybe this article will be also jolt Starbucks out of its test-marketing mode. Maybe I'm underestimating the situation, but I still think the Starbucks goal should be to offer the equivalent of at least one light gluten-free meal, preferably in consultation with a group such as GFRAP. The food doesn't have to be very different from what Starbucks already offers. For example, a fruit salad and veggie salads (with egg, cheese, and/or meat options for protein) should simply be prepared and wrapped under gluten-free conditions, and gluten-free desserts could include wrapped macaroons and/or brownies like the type already offered, no extra charges necessary in most if not all cases. Voila!—suddenly people with celiac disease could feel more secure about finding food while traveling in airports and elsewhere, thanks to Starbucks.

Photo: David Marc Fischer

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Fingers crossed! I can only imagine easy access to gluten-free food in the airport...