Starbucks to expand evening alcohol sales; plans Oprah chai tea
Seattle – Starbucks plans to expand a pilot of an evening alcohol and “light bites” menu that includes wine to thousands of stores nationwide. At the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Starbucks executives said the evening food and drink offerings, currently provided in about 40 test stores, will be rolled out during the next several years.
Starbucks does not plan to offer alcohol in all stores, but will focus on stores in urban areas near stores and theaters where consumers will likely be out at night. Alcohol is currently offered in test stores in the Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle and Southern California markets. The food portion of the evening menu, which begins after 4 p.m., includes truffle macaroni and cheese, chicken skewers, Chardonnay and chocolate fondue.
In addition, Starbucks announced a collaboration with media mogul Oprah Winfrey to create Teavana Oprah chai tea. Beginning April 29, Oprah Chai will be sold at Starbucks and Teavana stores across the U.S. and Canada, with a donation from each product sold going to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.
“With the introduction of Teavan Oprah Chai, we are going to elevate the tea experience the way we did for coffee,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and CEO of Starbucks.
Gap designer is Bloomberg cover girl
Only 18 months into her job as Gap’s creative director and already Rebekka Bay is the focus of a cover story in the most recent issue of Bloomberg Businessweek about, “making Gap matter again.”
The Dutch designer charged with turning around the apparel retailer shares her views on helping Gap become cool again, design with integrity and the role instincts play in the creative process. The full story can be read here or watch a video interview with Bay here.
Paralympic athlete wins gold and Wheaties box
Most American’s missed seeing amputee Evan Strong win gold at the Paralympics in Sochi as Russian aggression toward Crimea and the Ukraine overshadowed the games. However, Strong gains another type of notoriety this Spring when he becomes the first para-athlete to grace the front of a Wheaties box.
Strong lost his left leg in an automobile accident, but through determination and perseverance he found himself at the Paralympics in Sochi March 7-16 where he won the gold medal in an event called snowboard cross. His inspiring story caught the attention of brand marketers at Wheaties, long known as “the breakfast of champions,” and Strong was recruited to appear as the first-ever para-athlete on the front of the cereal box. Fellow Olympians Mikaela Shiffrin and Sage Kotsenburg will also appear on limited-edition Wheaties box scheduled to hit store shelves this spring.
"We are extremely proud to have Evan as a member of Team Wheaties," said Jeff Tang, a marketer for the Wheaties brand at General Mills. "His remarkable attitude toward overcoming adversity is truly inspiring. We are honored to celebrate his athletic accomplishments, as well as the strength, courage and generosity that define him as a role model to other athletes."
Team Wheaties is a select group of elite athletes who represent the best in their respective sports and include notables such as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, motocross champion Ryan Dungey, speedskaters J.R. Celski and Heather Richardson, lacrosse player Rob Pannel, decathlete R.J. McGinnis and climber Tommy Caldwell.
Strong, a native of Hawaii, who currently resides in Nevada City, Calif., excelled at extreme sports at a young age, even securing his first skateboarding sponsorship at 13. However, his life was forever changed at 17, when he lost his left leg as a result of a car accident. Inspired by the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and with the support of his family, Strong began training again and soon added snowboarding to his list of athletic achievements — reaching the pinnacle with a historic gold-medal performance in Sochi.
"Joining some of the most elite athletes in the world to be on the Wheaties box is a dream come true," said Strong. "Despite my injury, I never stopped challenging myself to grow and reach new milestones. I hope my story serves as inspiration for others that anything can be accomplished with hard work and dedication."