Move over Pumpkin Spice Latte! There is a new drink in town…but wait, where is it? The signature Starbucks red cups are back, which can only mean one thing! The holidays are near. The holiday season for Starbucks is their most profitable and busiest season. However, there was something missing from this festive time a year. The Eggnog Latte! A staple holiday drink for Starbucks since 1986 was not on the menu for this season. Which left more than just a few customers grumbling Bah Humbug.
After almost 30 years of success, why was Starbucks pulling the hot seller off the menu? Starbucks spokeswoman Linda Mills said, “The chain initially kept the flavored coffee off this year to ‘optimize’ it for new offerings like Chestnut Praline.”
One loyal customer, 35-year-old firefighter, Travis Block just could not get into the holiday spirit without his Eggnog Latte. So he did was any person would do, he took to social media to protest. One tweet to Starbucks turned into to thousands more and plenty of retweets. Calls, emails and letters started overflowing the Starbucks headquarters, and an online petition even gained over 2500 signatures to bring the signature drink back!
Starbucks clearly received the message and loves its customers “a latte” that it has agreed to bring back the Eggnog Latte this season. Mills has announced that the Eggnog Latte will start appearing in stores by November 17th. Starbucks apologized to its millions of customers saying, “We made a mistake. We are very sorry.” Starbucks learned its lesson, “Many customers have a very emotional connection to the holidays, and Starbucks is part of that tradition.”
However, quick adjustments to menus are not always easy to fix. Starbucks is now struggling to find enough eggnog from suppliers to bring the drink back to every store. With this being their busiest and most profitable time of the year Starbucks understands the urgency to get the drinks back in the hands of their loyal customers.
It seems as if Starbucks got too wrapped up in the excitement of their new holiday drink line, that they forgot what their customers really wanted. One reason people choose Starbucks over other coffee chains are because they can customize their drink to their exact liking. Starbuck’s customers are not ones for change. Something Starbucks perhaps forgot about.
There is no doubt, Starbucks loves its customers, a latte, but they will need to improve on staying process focused and understanding what products their customers really want moving forward.
How could Starbuck’s have overlooked their customer’s love for the Eggnog Latte? The company has never had a problem like this before, so what do you think happened?
What could Starbucks have done to prevent this nightmare before Christmas from happening?
5 thoughts on “Starbucks – “We Love Our Customers A Latte.””
Interesting, I had not heard about this! Although this is going to be a nightmare for them trying, to get enough Eggnog, this could have potentially been good for the company. I’m sure the demand for Eggnog Lattes is greater after this whole debacle than it would have been if they just had them originally like normal, but that will probably be an issue since they will not have enough supply, presumably. But, hopefully, this will show Starbucks customers that the company really does care and listen to the customer, which should increase customer loyalty in the end.
I agree with Virginia. Whenever a company meets the demands of the customers, that is great PR. I honestly had no idea the eggnog latte was missing from the menu as I always gravitate to the classic Gingerbread latte. It is interesting to think about the eggnog suppliers. Initially losing Starbucks as a customer to serve was a massive loss. The business contracts for eggnog between Starbucks and its supplier must have been huge. Now that Starbucks needs that much eggnog, will the suppliers be able to provide? In addition, it makes me wonder if the lack of potential eggnog in the market will lead to an increase in the price of eggnog.
I think Starbucks is more concerned with endorsing new products than the customer’s love of Eggnog Lattes. Starbucks, just like several other large food chains, follow the motto, “out with the old, in with the new.” Starbucks wants to promote new products; they’re an innovative company that is always producing new ideas. I think they were tired of promoting the same old product time and time again, and felt this was the season for change.
The problem is that their Eggnog Latte is not as in demand as Starbucks would like it to be. And naturally, once the public is in an uproar about the removal of the latte, Starbucks backpedals to save face. That’s the problem. If they are going to take it off the menu, then it should stay off of the menu until the next season. There is no reason to immediately bring it back because it became a social media controversy. Now they’re scrambling to gather resources for the drink in a limited time frame. They are deliberately allowing the customer’s concern for one beverage dictate how they run their business and manage their operations. I think it’s pretty ridiculous. They’d be better off focusing on their new products or one of their other seasonal beverages as opposed to wasting time and money trying to appease just one portion of their customer base.
I agree with Alexis in that it’s pretty ridiculous Starbucks is currently spending so many resources in order to bring back a drink that was obviously not as popular as other seasonal specials such as their cult classic, the pumpkin spice latte. Although I frequent Starbucks often, I don’t give into seasonal offerings so this is probably the main reason I never knew they had an eggnog latte or care that they’re bringing it back. I don’t think it would’ve been a terrible idea if Starbucks were to simply bring that particular latte back next season or to carry it in specific benchmark stores especially since they have so many locations. If they were to do this, I think avid enthusiasts would more than likely go out of their way in order to obtain their exclusive drink. Although listening to your customer base and retaining regulars is an extremely important part of running a business, I’m not sure if going through this holiday scramble will be worth it and I’d be interested to see the added revenue Starbucks is able to bring in this season simply by adding the eggnog latte back to their menu.
I think the actual amount of people who regularly purchase the eggnog latte must not of been very significant. Any food chain is trying to maximize profits and reduce expenses. If it was an expensive item to hold in inventory and only a small amount of customers were buying, it would make sense to cut the item from the menu. However when a big company like Starbucks does anything controversial, there will be people who jump on the opportunity to criticize.
I think it was smart of Starbucks to bring it back because it is good PR and makes them seem like a caring company. It also provides good advertising for the product. I personally do not go to Starbucks often and have never heard of the eggnog latte before, so maybe now I will go give it a try.