Starbucks Reserve: Morphing Meal Occasions
16 March 2016
Over the past couple of years we have seen the blurring of channels intensify, from something small like a branded hot drinks to go unit in a c-store through to the launch of a Subway or Greggs concession in a forecourt c-store. The latest development we have seen is the launch of Starbucks Reserve. Initially launched in the US we have now seen the coffee shop chain open the doors in London. If it wasn’t for the ‘Starbucks’ logo on the floor to ceiling windows, customers may not even recognise the new store-format and make the connection to the coffee shops they have grown accustomed to.
The main element which sets Starbucks Reserve apart is that they offer wine and beer in addition to hot dishes and sharing boards, reaching out to the early evening customer looking for something other than a sandwich or muffin. Outside of this they have taken leaps with customer service; you are greeted at the door and served at your table by fully trained ‘Coffee Masters’! This is a bold step into playing within the evening meal solution arena not just through the food and drink offering but also the format and atmosphere aiming to make it that of a bar or restaurant.
Something that we may be more accustomed to not only seeing but expecting as shoppers is the rise in meal solutions offered to us in c-stores. I’m not talking about just evening ready meals anymore but solutions for every day part. Fresh in-store bakery for breakfast, made to order sandwiches and salads for lunch and recipe suggestions and kits for your dinner. Through our research we have realised that as shoppers lives become busier, retailers need to offer solutions to tend to all of their food to go needs and not just the traditional snack to go.
At him! we predict that the Meal Occasions mission will be worth a staggering £10bn to the convenience sector by 2020 so it is essential that not only retailers but suppliers make their move into meal solutions now if they have not already and if you really want to win big with shoppers think total solution and not just one part. Pull together all of the elements a shopper will need within that day part occasion e.g. fresh morning bakery next to the hot drink to go unit and crisps and soft drinks next to the sandwiches for lunch. Making it as easy for the shoppers as possible is key to success within these occasions.