- Starbucks expanded its summer menu on Tuesday to include the Impossible Breakfast Sandwich, as well as the Cold Brew with Cinnamon Almondmilk Foam, Cold Brew with Dark Cocoa Almondmilk Foam, according to a company announcement.
- The new menu is part of the company’s sustainability commitment, which included a focus on providing more plant-based ingredients and products for customers.
- The coffee chain has reopened 95% of its company-operated stores in the U.S.
Starbucks’ plant-based initiative began in February with the launch of its Beyond Meat Breakfast sandwich in Canada. In April it became the first in China to nationally distribute Beyond Meat proteins with a new Asian menu, which was also served with packaging made from plant-based materials, Kevin Johnson, Starbucks CEO and president, told investors during an April call with investors.
Until recently breakfast had been a relatively untapped daypart for plant-based proteins in the restaurant space. Dunkin’ was among the first in the U.S. to provide a Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich in November. The new menu item brought in new customers and high repurchase rates, especially among younger consumers, executives told investors during its 2019 earnings call. Burger King rolled out its Impossible Croissan'wich nationwide in June.
While other chains posted declines in foot traffic during the morning daypart during the height of the pandemic, Starbucks' foot traffic actually grew to 20.3% during the hours of 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in March and April 2020 compared to 19% a year ago, according to Placer.ai.
Adding the plant-based menu items could allow Starbucks to capture higher ticket volumes as customers seek food add-ons to their coffee orders. This could could help it recover revenue, which declined 5% to $5.99 billion during the company's fiscal Q2 2020. The launch also taps into a resurgence of interest in plant-based alternatives, especially as the country faced meat shortages following plant closures and processing slowdowns.