December 26, 2014 Coffee & Company

10 Starbucks Innovations of 2014

Starbucks is always thinking about its customers – the 70 million people around the world who visit the company’s stores each week. Here are some of the innovative beverages and products Starbucks and its family of brands introduced in 2014:

1. Teavana® Oprah Chai Tea

Oprah Winfrey personally developed the tea with Teavana’s leading teaologist Naoko Tsunoda. The distinctive blend of tea features a bold infusion of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos. “My daily tea ritual is a vital part of my morning. Savory and spicy chai, with its deep flavor, has long been a favorite of mine,” said Winfrey. “When Howard Schultz offered to have me come into the Starbucks tasting room and create my very own tea blend, I thought that sounded like such a unique opportunity and fun to the tenth power. To share one of my favorite things with the rest of the world and support youth education at the same time is truly the perfect blend."

A portion of the sales of Teavana® Oprah Chai Tea benefit young leaders. Starbucks, Oprah and Teavana have contributed nearly $2 million to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in the first six months of Teavana® Oprah Chai Tea availability.

2. Teavana® Shaken Iced Tea

These iced teas are vigorously hand shaken ten times to help ensure all the ingredients are cooled down quickly and mixed perfectly to bring out their distinct flavors. Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade features the thirst-quenching flavors of juicy blackberry, mint, Teavana® green tea and a splash of lemonade shaken with ice. Peach Green Tea Lemonade has refreshing sweet peach and ginger notes, Teavana® green tea and a splash of lemonade shaken with ice. And the Teavana® Shaken Iced Black Tea Lemonade combines bold layers of three of the finest Teavana® black teas mixed with lemonade and shaken with ice.

3. Fizzio™ Handcrafted Sodas

Fizzio beverages are individually handcrafted for each customer, featuring three flavors: Spiced Root Beer; Golden Ginger Ale; Lemon Ale. The Fizzio™ machine is a breakthrough in carbonation technology with the ability to deliver an unmatched soda experience. Unlike existing sodas or at-home carbonation options, the machine carbonates finished beverages, ensuring every ingredient in the beverage receives the same level of carbonation and maximum flavor. The machine also delivers a customizable experience with the capability to adjust the amount of “fizz” in each beverage.

4. Digital Tipping, Shake to Pay, Mobile Order and Pay

Starbucks continues to be a leader in the mobile space. In 2014, the company introduced Digital Tipping, enabling customers to show their appreciation of store partners by tipping through the Starbucks App for iPhone. To simplify payments, customers can now bring the barcode of their Starbucks Card front and center at any time, simply by shaking their mobile device. And, earlier this month, Starbucks launched Mobile Order & Pay in Portland, Oregon. The company expects to introduce this feature nationally beginning in 2015. Mobile Order & Pay allows customers to place orders in advance of their visit and pick them up at their chosen Starbucks® store.

5. Starbucks Mobile Truck

A pilot mobile service debuted on three college campuses this fall, offering a menu of drinks and food nearly identical to what customers would find in their neighborhood Starbucks stores. The Starbucks mobile truck can move to various locations on campus throughout the day, making it convenient for students and faculty to grab a snack or beverage. The mobile truck, which complements Starbucks cafes currently located across campus, is a licensed store operated through Aramark and is a natural extension of the long-standing partnership between the two companies.

6. Evolution Fresh™ Smoothies

Two new smoothies created exclusively for Whole Foods Market – the Cold-Pressed Organic Splendid Carrot, and Cold-Pressed Organic Avocado Greens – are among the new products introduced in 2014. For those who are seeking products that support their health and wellness goals, Evolution Fresh also added these cold-pressed green juices: Coconut Water and Greens is a refreshing and hydrating juice blending coconut water with cool cucumber, leafy greens, and a splash of sweet pineapple; Smooth Greens is a green vegetable and fruit juice blending cool cucumber and leafy greens with pineapple, apple, and mint for a soft and smooth finish; Organic Sweet Greens and Ginger is a refreshing green juice blending a medley of green vegetables and crisp apple, finished with a squeeze of lemon and a spicy ginger kick. It’s a 100 percent organic offering and a twist on a consumer favorite.

7. Single-Origin Coffees in Grocery Stores

Single-origin coffees – beans sourced from one country, a region within a country, or sometimes even just a single estate or farm – offer customers an opportunity to explore distinctive coffees from around the world. In September, the Starbucks Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) team brought coffees from each of the three major coffee growing regions to U.S. grocery stores: Starbucks® Guatemala Laguna de Ayarza Single-Origin Coffee; Starbucks® Rwanda Rift Valley Single-Origin Coffee; Starbucks® Timor Mount Ramelau Single-Origin Coffee.

8. Iced Coffees Brewed to Personalize at Home

Inspired by the handcrafted iced coffee Starbucks baristas create in stores, the company introduced Starbucks® Iced Coffee – Brewed to Personalize. These beverages found in the chilled section of grocery stores are the perfect way for customers to enjoy the Starbucks Experience at home. Made from 100 percent Starbucks® arabica coffee beans and ranging from 10 to 60 calories per 8 fl. oz. serving, customers can have these options: Starbucks® Lightly Sweetened for flavor Iced Coffee Beverage; Starbucks® Unsweetened Iced Coffee Beverage; Starbucks® Caramel Iced Coffee Beverage.

9. Starbucks® Chestnut Praline Latte

Starbucks introduced its first new holiday beverage in five years. The Chestnut Praline Latte is a blend of fresh espresso and flavors of caramelized chestnuts, with freshly steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and spiced praline crumbs. In the fall of 2012, Starbucks Global Beverage Innovation team began to explore new flavors for holiday beverages. Amy Dilger, a Starbucks research and development manager, had a hand in creating Chestnut Praline Latte. “I am a pastry chef by training, and I was inspired by my time working at restaurants and hotels in Europe and experiencing what European Christmas markets had to offer," Dilger said.

10. Starbucks For Life

Through the years, customers have asked how they could purchase “Starbucks For Life.” It has never been a possibility until this year when Starbucks launched a contest to give 14 lucky customers that ultimate prize. After swiping a Starbucks® Card or paying with a mobile device (between now and January 5, 2015) customers receive a receipt with a unique sweepstakes code that can be entered online at starbucks.com/play for a chance to win instant prizes. That includes the chance of winning Starbucks for Life, with estimated value of $54,000 U.S. The prize comes with a piece of Starbucks history – a 10K hammered gold, and will be engraved with the winner’s name. A total of 10 Ultimate Starbucks Cards will be available to win in the U.S., three in Canada, and one in the U.K., making it the most exclusive Starbucks Card ever made.

For more information on this story, contact the Starbucks Newsroom