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Check Out Starbucks' New "Perks"

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Starbucks unveils their new coffee campaign.


In an effort to shed their "$4 a latte" image, Starbucks is downsizing their prices by offering "Value Meals." The coffee giant is selling coffee and an egg sandwich, cup of oatmeal or coffee cake, all for $3.95.

The value meals are called "breakfast pairings" and will save coffee fanatics $1.20. What's more, Starbucks is offering discount cards and training its employees to suggest bags of whole beans and instant coffee to people who are trying to cut back on designer drinks.

Those $4 lattes have become a media phrase signifying how expensive Starbucks is in comparison to other coffee companies. Recently Terry Davenport, Starbucks's chief marketing officer, defended Starbucks' high prices by saying, "The $3.95 price point is a backhanded way to go at the four-buck perception -- it's less than four bucks, and it's not just a drink, but food to go with it."

Starbucks is also using sneaky marketing to entice budget-conscious coffee drinkers. Their expensive specialty drinks like Frappuccinos used to be prominently displayed on their menu, but new menus will emphasize $2 brewed and iced coffees instead. The idea is to train people's eyes to assume all drinks are less than $3.

According to Starbucks officials, their typical customer ranges from BMW-driving professionals who come in twice a day to more thrifty folks who used to come in once a month and now come even less -- and instead are heading over to McDonalds for their new (and cheaper) lattes.

And in a last-ditch effort to keep their customers, Starbucks is also offering discount cards: Regular customers can pay $25 a year for cards that get them a 10 percent discount on food and coffee.

What do you think of Starbucks' discounted food and coffee? Does it appeal to you or have you sworn off expensive java for good?

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6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Johanna March 6, 2009, 11:46 AM

What they should do is offer all (not some as they do now, I don’t know about you, but I love the pumpkin!) the syrups and whatever else they use to make those drinks available for sale in stores so that they can still make their money but people will have the chance to bulk up on ingredients and make their own and feel they are saving money somewhere without sacrificing something they love and enjoy.

Kirstie March 7, 2009, 9:32 AM

Johanna - a lot of stores will sell you a bottle of the syrup from behind the counter, even if it’s not generally offered for sale. Ask them and see! I’ve done it to make my lattes at home =]

Mike July 9, 2009, 9:49 AM

Please do not send any one to Star$ when you do much better price wise and if your watching weight you’ll do better at Dunkin.

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