Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Starbucks Smooths Out

Starbucks' recent move to feature healthful smoothies is a good bet. So, when Matt Andrejczak from MarketWatch called to discuss it, it gave me a chance to re-consider the idea of "meal replacement."

A few years a ago, my firm worked with a candy maker on a yogurt confection infused with vitamins and nutrients. The product was a response to the obesity crisis. Our job was to help bring it to market. We considered a meal replacement strategy. Harried consumers will grab a semi-healthful, filling item to replace the meal they didn't have time to sit down for. If the item is filling enough, and healthy enough, a consumer will pay more for it because, hey, it replaces lunch.

The last few weeks, I've changed my mid-day routine. Gym, shower, then to the local coffee bar for a blueberry protein smoothie. I skip lunch. I am not alone. Other men and women drop by, and local teen athletes have discovered them, since the athletic field is a block away.

After Matt and I spoke, I went back the next day and asked the proprietor if people were buying smoothies and sandwiches, or salads. Sometimes, she said. Mostly young fathers with kids who use the smoothies to appease the tots while their sandwiches are prepped.

Breakfast sammies didn't thrill Starbucks customers. Smoothies are a better bet. It's a meal in a cup. And that's worth making a second trip to Starbucks for later in the day.


Mother Earth said...

I haven't checked out the starbucks smoothie's yet.

I'd personally be cautious with the smoothie thing.

Meal replacement is meant to be caloric but not if it's calories that are empty

I'd wonder if the fruit is organic,if the protein is complete or genetically modified. I'd be concern about the hidden sugars.

But that's me - I prefer to spend my consumer dollars on the alternative market. I prefer to stay far away from the sugar thing

If Starbucks purchased organics the consumers would love it. Same with their decaf - if it was water vs solvent rinsed. Man - if starbucks gve me those choices - I'd be one very happy consumer

If the smoothie is poorly sourced it's really nothing more than a snack. Perhaps healthier than a snickers bar, but depending on the ingredients not by much

Anonymous said...

promoting the skipping of lunch is rather unenlightened

we all need to sit down and eat something fresh - chewing slowly - 3 x day