What is Starbucks baking up with its latest investment?
Starbucks announced earlier this week that it was part of a group making an investment in Princi, an artisanal Italian bakery. Starbucks plans to make Princi the exclusive supplier of foods at its new Reserve Roastery and Tasting Rooms in New York and Shanghai. Princi will also be “fully integrated” as the exclusive supplier of food to Starbucks’ new Reserve store concept, beginning next year.
“We have never baked in our stores in 45 years. But all of that will change with the creation of this unique partnership,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman and CEO, in a statement. “Rocco and his team at Princi possess a passion for handcrafted food and artisanal baked goods that mirrors how I feel about our coffee.”
At the present time, there are five Princi locations: four in Milan and one in London. Mr. Princi opened his first bakery in 1986. Starbucks, according to The Seattle Times, currently has about 2,000 Reserve stores operating around the world.
This is not the first time that Starbucks has invested in a bakery. In 2012, Starbucks acquired La Boulange, a San Francisco Bay-area pastry chain, with the goal of taking it nationwide. By mid-2015, Starbucks announced it would close all 23 La Boulange locations. La Boulange has continued to operate as Starbucks’ primary food provider. Starbucks posted double-digit year-over-year growth in its food sales, which now represent about 20 percent of the coffee chain’s total.
- Starbucks in Bringing Leading Italian Artisan Bakery Princi to Customers Worldwide – Starbucks Corporation
- Starbucks buys into Italian bakery firm, with eye on expansion – The Seattle Times (tiered sub.)
- Leading Italian Artisan Baker to Create Food for New Starbucks Roasteries – Starbucks
- Starbucks dumps tea bar concept, keeps tea – RetailWire
- Starbucks buys a bakery – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of Starbucks’ plans for Princi? Do you think Starbucks and Princi will be able to maintain the quality of product now served in five locations when extended to thousands?