Starbucks has announced that it will be bringing back its popular breakfast cake slices in banana, pumpkin and iced lemon flavors after massive customer feedback demanded for these old favorites. The Seattle-based coffee company had been getting rid of its cake slices to replace them with pricier new baked goods and miniature loaves that are 20 cents more at $2.45.
Starbucks spokeswoman, Lisa Passe, said the firm realizes that their customers love the sliced cake varieties, and therefore, it will be making a return in the “coming weeks.” However, Passe said the old cakes will continue to carry the new higher prices. The cakes will also still be made with new recipes, she added.
According to the massive customer feedback received by Starbucks, people do not want to eat healthy it seems and want the firm to bring back the cake slices, among which, the 500-calorie iced lemon cake is a clear winner.
Customer feedback informed the company that their newly introduced wheat-spinach savory croissant squares and sweet loaves that look like rectangular cakes are doing “terribly” as compared to the old favorites. Some customers have described the croissants as bland and compared it to the croissants “served on airplanes.”
Starbucks also eliminated its reduced fat cinnamon swirl coffee cake but has offered no alternative for it so far. Not surprisingly, regulars of the coffee chain are not too happy about that either.
Speaking to philly.com, barista, Zee Lemke, who works at a Starbucks café in Madison, Wisconsin, said one of the reasons for the new baked goods not selling well is that they “look a lot smaller, and they’re priced higher.”
She said that Starbucks most popular items are breakfast sandwiches and other types of offerings that “make people feel full.” Lemke said the company’s aim to push for sales of “smaller status consumption foods” has not been sitting well with its customers, which is being reflected in poor sales. She said people considered the new baked goods “too fancy” and therefore not appealing to them when hungry.
“When we launched [the new baked goods], they held a big meeting and told us how awesome it was going to be. We ended up having to throw away tons of it,” Lemke said.
Starbucks has been criticized for poor selection of baked good for a long time. In 2012, the coffee chain purchased La Boulange, a small bakery chain, – which had been described by the OC Weekly as “the most disgusting breakfast on Earth” — for $100 million to meet the expectations of its customers and produce more baked goods. So far, the new baked goods have been introduced in 11,500 locations in the US – and they are not doing well.
Interestingly, in January this year, the company had maintained that its new baked goods have been well received by their customers, with Chief Operating Officer, Troy Alstead, stating that sales of the croissant squares had doubled in the stores where the item had been introduced. However, it is not known if the spike in sales was because people were willing to try the new item.
However, even Alstead had said the new baked goods are more complex as they are warmed up in ovens at the Starbucks location selling them, which may mean impatient customers could be turned away, especially during rush hours in the mornings.
Customers also criticized the new roll-outs in their breakfast menu. For example, referring to Starbucks’ food item ‘vegetable and fontiago on multigrain ciabatta,’ which replaced the old veggie-egg sandwich, one Twitter user said the sandwich is “not tasty.”
Starbucks has decided to bring back its popular cake slices after massive customer feedback because it is especially sensitive to customer complaints about its food, especially since breakfast is currently the fiercest battleground in fast food these days. At present, McDonalds is offering free coffee to its customers until Apr. 13, Taco Bell is heavily advertising its newly launched breakfast menu, Dunkin’ Donuts just introduced an eggs benedict breakfast sandwich to its menu and Burger King is also pushing its Croissan’wiches and muffin sandwiches aggressively.
By Faryal Najeeb