Starbucks may be best known for its designer coffee drinks, but this week the coffee kingpin announced plans to team with France-based Danone to bring designer yogurt to its customers.
The yogurt, sold under the company’s Evolution Fresh brand, will be available in Starbucks stores in spring 2014. The products will also be marketed by Danone in grocery stores in 2015. Though initially limited to U.S. stores, Starbucks plans to broaden distribution to markets around the world in the second phase of the initiative.
“Starbucks is committed to evolving and enhancing our customer experience with innovative and wholesome food offerings. Today’s announcement underscores this commitment through the transformation of our existing yogurt offerings and our multi-year agreement with Danone,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer.
USA Today points that Starbuck's jump into the yogurt market was originally devised several years ago by Shultz as he worked to evolve the coffee chain into a “better-for-you brand.”
Experts suggest that this move should be a win for the company.
"Yogurt is no longer regarded as hippie food, but as a healthy snack," says Robert Passikoff, founder of the product research firm Brand Keys. At the same time, he says, Starbucks has created "an emotional level of believability" that their coffee stores are now a place you can go to get a healthy snack or meal.