In an effort to reach a wider consumers segment, Starbucks has added a lighter roast to their coffee lineup. Their new blonde roast is quite the shift for the company in comparison to their traditional dark-roast beans as Starbucks has long faced criticism from consumers saying their coffee was too dark or bitter. I myself don’t like their coffee as the beans taste too burnt.
According to Nielson research, more than 40% of US coffee drinkers prefer to drink a light-roast coffee. The new blonde roast opens many doors to a larger market opportunity for Starbucks.
“We recognized the unmet consumer need for a super-premium light roast coffee, and our coffee developers went to work to craft a great-tasting, quality lighter roast coffee we are proud to stand behind,” says Cliff Burrows, president of the Americas for Starbucks. “This is a significant opportunity for Starbucks to gain a greater share of the brewed coffee market-both in our stores and down the coffee aisle.” Recent research about coffee consumption in grocery stores might help explain Starbucks’ new lighter-roast coffee, as more than 70% of total premium coffee sales in grocery stores are from light or medium roast coffee. After learning these figures, this would of course explain why Starbucks is making the shift into the lighter-roast coffee segment in an effort to help their company gain a larger market share and increase profit margins.
The new blonde roast will hit retail stores and Starbucks locations across Canada and the U.S. in January.