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December 18, 2008

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I actually tried the oatmeal in California when they were testing it. I don't know how they consider an apple-cinnamon compote topping (think apple pie filling) as healthy.

Its true that it tasted better because its filled with sugar, but Starbucks has nothing to worry about. Jamba Juice loves to be 1 step behind Starbucks which is why they are at the brink of bankruptcy. The thing about oatmeal is that people don't come to Starbucks for the oatmeal. It's there to be a complement to the beverage and add to our average ticket.

Jamba Juice is delicious, and its a whole meal in itself. I get full off of a 16 oz smoothie. I certainly don't need an oatmeal with heavy sugary apple pie topping on top of it. Jamba Juice has enough sugar in its smoothies.

Customers don't care about the fact that our oatmeal is instant. What the article doesnt mention is that Jamba's oatmeal is only available from opening till 11am. At Starbucks,

Jamba Juice just hammered in the last nail on its own coffin.

I love Starbucks oatmeal with the nuts. For something different I decided to stir in one of the almond butter packets they have - pretty darn good!

On another note, I read that Starbucks is considering selling single-servng oatmeal in grocery stores. While it's convenient to pick up some in the coffee shop, I have to say it is NOT different enough in taste to get me to purchase it (with it's high price) instead of the WHOLE BOX (multiple servings) of instant Quaker oats I buy for $2!!

Reality check, Starbucks.

I love Starbucks oatmeal with the nuts. For something different I decided to stir in one of the almond butter packets they have - pretty darn good!

On another note, I read that Starbucks is considering selling single-servng oatmeal in grocery stores. While it's a convenience to pick up oatmeal in the coffee shop, I have to say it is NOT different enough in taste to get me to purchase it at the store (with it's high price) instead of the WHOLE BOX (multiple servings) of instant Quaker oats I buy for $2!!

Reality check, Starbucks.

inopethflames

anybody know how long the winter drinks will last for, like the signature hot chocolates & the gingersnap/mocha twist/eggnog?

Eggnog will end on January 3rd, however, you may see it in certain markets longer because of how much eggnog supply is left in the distribution centers. Signature hot chocolate is here to stay, but gingersnap will stop getting menu visability and will only be available until supplies last. Mocha twist will no longer get peppermint whipped cream as of January 3rd, but you can still have the chocolate shavings on top while supplies last.

Jessicaramel macchiato

Has anyone looked at the fine print on the oatmeal packet? The instant oatmeal at Starbucks is from Quaker Oats. :-) Most of the time, I get my oatmeal "dry" (uncooked) and then mix it up on my break at work and I noticed that writing on the packet of oatmeal. Made me laugh - I still really like the oatmeal though. Little bit pricey...

AmericanoMan

It is the fruit and nut packets that make Starbucks oatmeal great--that is what Starbucks needs to sell in the grocery stores, not a renamed Quaker Instant Oatmeal. I have tried to duplicate the mixes, come close with the nuts but have not been able to find good dried fruit (our health food stores sell some of the worst looking and tasting dried fruit I have ever tasted).

I am a big fan of steel cut oats (prefer to rolled oats). Jamba is going to run into problems with quality and consistency. Steel cut oats not only take a long time to prepare, they do not hold well for very long--you soon end up with a big wet bumpy hockey puck.

The Wall Street Journal had an article on Jamba's oatmeal, said it would be $2.99 vs Starbucks $2.95 (prices do vary by region).

winn

Does anybody else have a problem with the coffee Starbucks. In the last 4 months everytime I have a cup of coffee i get sick & must find a restroom as soon as I can.I thought it mght be the Pike Place coffee, but I am having the same problem with the Christmas blend. Then I thought I maybe having a problem with coffee it self.So I have tried Jack n the box, Carl jr coffee, and Seattles best. All seems to be fine with these coffees just Starbucks

Coffee Gal

I'm already sick of the holidays! when do the new drinks come out?

someone may have go correct me on this, but I believe Howard Schultz's investment group owns a fairly large amount of Jamba Juice. I forget the name of the group, but its the same group that is mentioned in "pour your heart into it". I believe they own a controlling interest in pinkberry too

is this true?

AmericanoMan

Winn, is your problem at one particular Starbucks? If so, the folks at the store may be improperly cleaning and rinsing the urns. Urnex (the brand name of the cleaner) has quite a laxative effect if not rinsed out well--also, if the urns have an old coffee crud buildup that they are not taking the time to remove, no amount of rinsing will get all the Urnex out.

meh

Whatever. Oatmeal is not the core of our business. NEXT!!

Howard's venture capital group no longer owns shares in Jamba. However, I do know they are invested in Kinetix and Pinkberry.

New drinks come out Jan 3 - Berry Chai Infusion, Apple Chai Infusion, London Fog Latte, Vanilla Rooibus Latte, Black Tea Latte, Maple Sausage Scone, Greek Yogurt Parfait

Mike B.

Aonon @ December 18, 2008 at 04:17 PM. Where did you get that info from? Thats a lot of new drinks. and a sausage scone? Sounds kinda bleh.

Coffee Soldier

To Mike B....it's been on the portal maybe 2 weeks now under documents, then promotional and also the new promo guide arrived last Monday in stores. All the stores in my area started receiving the new ingredients this week on our order. I know in our store we've all read the barista needs to know and have genral knowledge but we will not be opening those training guides until Dec 26th after the markdowns have been done and business slows just a bit...since there is no non-coverage time to learn anymore it's all going to be done on the floor in between customers!!

CamSpi

the sausage scone sounds aweful... but all the new drinks are good. i've had them all except the apple chai and greek yogurt parfait. vanilla robbios tea latte is my fave. the teas are whole leaf in silk packets. they're THE BOMB!

Sheik

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

IT'S. JUST. OATMEAL.

short drip

Hey ya'll!

Here's a thought! Let's close down this site.
Nothing relevant spoken here.

Game over. Fun while it lasted.

Starbucks and the magic is gone.

Good food, inconsistent beverage, bitter-barista, good location but no magic worthy of its own "gossip website".

The best to you all but it is time to move on and get off the internet.

As I understand, the frequent visitors are mostly under-performing partners so their feedback is irrevelant.

Happy Holidays and good night.

adam

Of course Starbucks took the cheap and lazy route by going with rolled oats instead of steel cut which are much better for you. What do you expect from the company that gave us that hideous push button espresso machine. Steel cut oats aren't that much harder to prepare either although with some of the people I've seen working there....

And people should stop saying "it's just oatmeal, it's not our core product" because anything you sell reflects on the company.

Mousy

Hate to go off on a tangent, but for those of us who are mere customers, could someone describe the new drinks? One of the partners at my old favorite store has been mixing up what he calls a London Fog since earlier this year, and it became my standard drink when he was on the bar. It's an Earl Grey latte + vanilla syrup. Is the new London Fog similar?

I prefer slow-cooked steel cut oats to instant oatmeal, but this is hardly some sort of competition to Starbucks - unless legions of customers are flocking to stores just to get oatmeal.

Yes it seems like the beverage team has been borrowing from our partner recipe book....The london fog has been a drink that Ive been drinking since I started in 1999. Its an earl grey misto with vanilla. However as someone mentioned, we are getting special silk tea bags that have loose leaf tea inside. This is great for efficiency too since we dont have to tear open bags all of the time. The tea bags are going to be stored in stainless steel tazo tea canisters with glass tops.

Apple chai infusion has been around for ages as well.

Next thing you know, they might introduce a Capn Crunch Frappuccino next summer?

sbuxbarrista

I don't get this whole oatmeal fad...I can go to the grocery store and buy a box for the price that we sell a bowl. It makes me sad how much they sell our food for. It's hard to upsell the pastries when people think it's too expensive.

Moved on...

Winn,
The same thing happened to me last year with the X-mas blend. I think someone told me at the time that they'd heard of it happening to others. I don't have any idea why, but it has happened before. Just bring your bag back, if you have one. If it happened with in-store brew you can call 1-800-23-latte and let starbucks know.

ps I agree with person above-London Fogs are great-Winn, you might want to try one. :)

CM

customer came in today and confidently ordered a

"Large Caramel McDonald"

e

@CM--that cracks me right up. thanks, i needed that.

toffeenut

wtf is a vanilla rooibus??? Let's just have another hard to pronounce name so customers can feel silly.

grass is getting greener

It's horsefood. What an insult to all of a sudden pass off oatmeal as upscale gourmet anywhere. Don't get me wrong I like oatmeal sometimes, but this is just ridiculous. This is just about making huge profit margins on a cheap commodity. Look at the price of oats over last year in the Wall Street Journal under the commodity index, Coffee too for that matter. Both are way lower than a year ago, but SBUX raises their prices on coffee and introduces horsefood and at a premium. This is Howards response to the bad economy. It deserves to fail and Jamba juice is playing the copy cat game, probably due to lies being said about he huge success oatmeal has become at SBUX. I'd be careful of believing anything coming form corporate these days as it is all smoke and mirror attempts to fool investors it seems. Even if not, it's a sad day when horseoats become gourmet sustenance. What now oat snobs? Mine are steel rolled oats!! Whatever.

the real deal

the grass is getting greener--sbux raised its prices because of the rising costs of gas at the time (which dramatically increased freight charges for everything we receive), and dairy (because sbux actually sells more milk than coffee).

Gord

Toffeenut:

Rooibus is a red tea. Very common among exotic tea drinker (the African Red Bush tea has it in it for example).

It's hardly something made up to be more confusing. In fact, if they called it red tea or something, most people would ask what tea was in it... which would just lead you back to Rooibus in the first place. :)

Mike B.

@ Coffee Soldier. Well we got all of our order today as i was leaving so the stuff might be in there. I havn't had a chance to look deep into the portal, just skimmed the homepage a few times so i guess thats why i didn't see it. Wow, that's a lot of new drinks. I mean they're just different versions of the same thing but it'll still be a pain letting customers know that. God i hate this hour cutting, i don't have time to do anything at work anymore. Well thanks for the drink update, i'll be sure to look it up tomarrow.

spence

Thank God for Starbucksgossip.

I don't have time to read the portal anymore. I used to read it during my breaks. Now, I don't usually get a break. And if I do, I just want to step outside for a few minutes of silence.

grass is getting greener

the real deal,
No offense but are you the real deal you elude to? If so I'd love to talk to you in person. So here is my response in all seriousness and no joking around about horse food. I am a supply chain analyst, and I used to manage a SBUX a number of years back. I say this about transportation cost. Yes it is a factor everyday all day, but it has been enough of a factor for long enough that better measures to be proactive should have been/need to be in place. You should find a more efficient way to control your costs than to simply raise prices on the end user due to your transportation getting more expensive. But along that line, when the fuel is climbing the response was rather quick to raise the price, so how about now? Transportation is less expensive at least in the domestic infrastructure. Your response should be, it is more complicated than that, which is correct and why raising prices due to transportation costs is not really the case (it's more complicated than that). Creating a better supply chain or I should say more efficient one is the best thing a company could do to reel in some costs. Just picking at the biggest expense or simply passing on some of your lost margin to the customer is not a good move. SBUX should see that, with the discontent amongst customers and partners with the labor and customer service decline, being better adapted to responses like, and I hate to say it, but WalMArt. Wal Mart has one of the strongest forward thinking, modern supply chain models in the world, and they can adapt to economic issues like oil costs. They are plagued by other issues, but anyway. Their is much more to this and I'll not bore anyone with it, but some in depth Total Cost Analysis and sensitivity analysis combined with some forward thinking supply chain pros is what this (most) company needs now more than ever. Even if the economy was rocking. In the slim to no chance that you are the real deal, then you know I am not a big fan of your tactics lately, but I still believe you care.

spbbowman@yahoo.com

I live in a small city with 2 Starbucks. Between the 2 stores, there is 1 (one) customer who buys just the oatmeal; no coffee.
Sucks to be her. No Jamba Juice around here.
Whew. almost lost 1 customer.
We lose more than that because of long lines.

SSC Gal

Note to Meh: Oatmeal is a very important part of the future direction of Starbucks. Howard likes it, he thinks its a great idea (his). Coffee and oatmeal go great together, it's a natural. Wait till you see the packaging of the retail version Starbucks Single Serve Oatmeal -- it complements the coffee bags very well, and certainly helps build up our brand image. Oatmeal is here to stay! If not at the core of our business, certainly near the very center.

Melody

Oh SSC Gal, I LIKE the oatmeal, but I'd have to disagree with you about oatmeal being anywhere near the core of your business. Starbucks-branded oatmeal in the grocery stores will lead to more brand confusion. People subconsciously ask themselves: Do they still make coffee? Is the coffee any good? Oatmeal in the Starbucks stores has to do with fast, quick, on your way to the office breakfast with coffee. Oatmeal at the grocery store = brand confusion & dilution of the "coffee image" of Starbucks, imho.

dudes...the oatmeal is freakin' instant quaker!!! Sheesh! How ridiculous!

SSC Gal

Yes, the oatmeal is made by our partner, Quaker Oats. It meets our stringent quality standards. The Single Serve retail packs exceeded expectations in terms of sales in test markets (select Schnucks stores in St. Louis and Memphis). An announcement will be made in January on launch dates.

Anony

I hope this makes Starbucks go to steel-cut oats or just axe "Perfect Oatmeal" altogether.

The loose-leaf teas are really exciting, though.

Bean barrage

When people catch on how insulting the oatmeal is for almost 3$, they will realize what a sham SBUX is becoming. How anyone can post on here that oatmeal is such an exciting thing and the future direction of SBUX (Howard pet idea) should think about that for 1 second. Proof that Howard is not "The Thinker", but possibly an egomaniac who will not be questioned. Oatmeal is not visionary it's insulting to customers who have a brain and it is also cheapening the brand and experience. What's next cheerios? So incredibly foolish. This is all about a cheap commodity dressed up for high margins.

Susan

I think the oatmeal is tasty and it goes great with my coffee. The two go great together -- just like bacon and eggs.

Bean Barrage

It's the price that's insulting the most. Nothing but an insult to the consumer. This was not chosen for the "passion for oatmeal" or for anyone's health. It was chosen as a quick way to make a high % margin on a dirt cheap commodity. I like oatmeal, but I have never viewed it as anything other than a quick, cheap and to some degree healthy form of sustenance. But not as some gourmet food stuff to go with my coffee. The price is too high period. Plus it is the cheapest form of oatmeal, which makes it doubly insulting. Based on SSC Gals comments SBUX is headed in a strange direction. Pour your hot water into it, one instant packet at a time. It's a mistake you'll all see this.

rumor control

I hear Howard wants to roll out Ramen noodles soon in response to the economic crisis. It is going to be 2.50$, so now instead of avoiding starvation by getting 5 packages of Ramen noodles for $1, the price will be driven up as it will become a luxury item in demand. You know just like oatmeal.

Susan

Ramen noodles actually arn't such a far off idea...oatmeal is more of a breakfast item, and a cup-of-noodles type offering might be just the thing for later in the day. Besides, the stores already have hot water ready to go for this. If Starbucks were smart, they'd look into this.

scootes

SSC gal again i ask the question,WHERE IS THE COFFEE COMPANY I STARTED TO WORK FOR? howard likes pike place but he's not the one paying to drink it so what does it matter what he likes! i have customers call daily(before noon) telling me they are on their way so i can have ANYTHING else brewed for them besides PPR. if true starbucks customers wanted the same coffee day after day after day then they can get that anywhere. when did giving them choices become "the wrong direction"?

rumor control

Susan,
I was kidding, and respectfully disagree. The focus is veing lost is my point and the insult of cheap food dressed up fancy is just not a good idea. It says to average intelligent and rational customers that SBUX thinks people are easily fooled. Now it makes me question whether their coffee is special at all? By the way has anyone any idea where Target's Archer Farms Brand coffee is really coming from? I see they have some decent coffee selections in their stores but have yet to try them. I'm suspicious they are coming from SBUX, roasting plants. If not they are directly competing with SBUX retail packaged coffee on the shelves and I have to admit it is a tempting grab, as long as it pans out to brew up well.

The dude

Hey short drip I think your coming up a bit short there my friend... first of all you obviously had time to key in your input by saying most of us are under performing barista's etc. Come down to my store and I will personally kick your ass in!

eric

I just tried the oatmeal the other morning and it was GREAT, not good. Superior to Starbucks in every way...texture, taste, toppings...it exceeded expectations

rumor control

Don't believe the hype. It's just dirt cheap oatmeal marked up about 3-400%. THAT is your CEO's response to an economically stressed customer base. Insult their wallets even more. Howard needs to step down or to an area he can contribute to positively.

scootes

short drip--i guess you come up short with your drip, that would make me feel inferior as well. i feel sorry for those guys that can't have anything but a shorty but try the pills to help make it bigger. the comments on this site are the view points of people that truly care about what is happening to the company that they did like working for in the past. since howard's return in april there has been no real leadership coming from SSC offices. funny how since he pissed off, threatening managers with their jobs if they don't bring -3%, kill the morale of the "employees i love to take care of". so if you are about closing this site down because you find nothing here important then i have an idea;; stay the "f" off of here and let people vent and rant all they want you pompas little dicked ass!

Pamela

"wtf is a vanilla rooibus??? Let's just have another hard to pronounce name so customers can feel silly."

Just as anyone who knows anything about coffee knows the words latte / cappucino / espresso, anyone who knows anything about tea knows the word rooibus. Any tea connoisseur (who is one level above Lipton) has heard of it. It's no more elitist than the Italian coffee words.

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