So the big news really was just a new blend. Being a blender myself, I don’t want to minimize the difficulty or importance of a good blend; our Old North State has become pretty popular in these parts. But I thought they got a little carried away in the press release calling the Pike Place Blend “historic”. Please. Does it seem reasonable to you that the turnaround of the stock price can be achieved by one new “everyday” blend? I think short positions in SBUX are in order, personally.
I remember being inspired by Howard Shultz’ 1997 book, Pour Your Heart Into It. The entire premise of the company, it seemed, was based on bringing the Italian coffee culture to the US. And for a long time, despite burnt roasts, they did it. They educated America.
But the Italian coffee culture is based on espresso. How is the Pike Place Blend going to rekindle the magic? Seems unlikely that some Dunkin Donuts like coffee is going to do it.
No, I think it’s more likely that they just outgrew their mission, which was a worthy mission. But not all of America is going to embrace the Italian coffee culture, so by default there was an upper limit to the growth. Now they need to turn into something new. Something less special, to match the American coffee culture. Which, on the whole, is just less special.
Although I must say that I like the return to the old logo.