Starbucks announces fall 2019 menu. Did you announce a new fall menu?

by By Paul Schlossberg
Posted On: 9/24/2019

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In case you missed it, there was a lot of news about it. In USA Today the headline read: “Starbucks announces fall 2019 menu, including the new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew.” We’ve heard it described as “pumpkin everything.”  There’ll be more about the specific menu additions later.

The question of the day is “What happened to your fall menu?” Did you forget to announce your new fall menu? Or is it that you didn’t take the time to plan for and create a new fall menu?

Maybe you don’t think that seasonal menus are important. Perhaps you do not expect that a seasonal menu will have a positive impact on driving more traffic and higher sales. Seasonal menus have been something we’ve written about in the past. We’ve included the subject in presentations too.

If you have not tried seasonal menus, you might want to think about:

1.  Our food, snack and beverage consumption patterns change as the seasons change. Salad consumption tends to increase in the summer partly because there is a wider variety of produce (vegetables and fruits) available. Healthline.com reports on ‘seasonal eating’ and shared insights from “Susan Rappaport, nutrition counselor and founder of NuYu Revolution, an exercise studio in New York City.” This “…goes beyond eating simply the fruits and vegetables that are in season because they are less expensive or taste better. Indeed, Rappaport says we should eat what’s in season because it’s designed to supply our bodies with exactly what we need when we need it most.”

2.  When planning for a seasonal menu, from my perspective, the positives and benefits tend to outweigh the potential negatives. A posting at the Grubhub for Restaurants Learning Center, The Pros and Cons of Seasonal Menus, might be worth reading if you’re undecided about seasonal menus.

3.  Many of our competitors use seasonal menus. Get out of your office and visit local fast food restaurants and convenience stores. You’ll see seasonal foods, beverages and LTO’s[1] on their menus. There will be returning products too. Perhaps the best known is McDonald’s McRib. About a year ago, October 25, 2018 to be precise, McDonald’s announced “The McRib is Back – and Mobile!” The McDonald’s Finder app assisted McRib fans in identifying the participating stores where the product was available. Dunkin’ introduced their seasonal menu on August 21st with lots of pumpkin-flavored items. 

The new fall menu items at Starbucks include: 

1.  The PSL – that’s Pumpkin Spice Latte – their #1 selling seasonal beverage. It can be ordered hot, iced or as a blended Frappuccino.

2.  Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew – the first new pumpkin coffee since the PSL introduction.

3.  Salted Caramel Mocha – can be ordered hot, iced or as a blended Frappuccino.

4.  Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin.

5.  Cat Cake Pop.

6.  Pumpkin Spice Madeleines – a packaged cake (or cookie – depending on how you might define it).

7.  Pumpkin Scone – sweet vanilla icing topping a spiced pumpkin scone, plus a drizzle of pumpkin spice.

How many other seasonal fall menus can you find in your area? Are there menu items which might attract shoppers away from your stores? What can you do to bring seasonal menus to your locations? Think beyond their fall. There are four seasons and each one will open up menu opportunities.

If you want to sell more stuff, begin planning now for seasonal menus as a year-round feature of your product line-up and merchandising plans.

PAUL SCHLOSSBERG
Paul Schlossberg is president of D/FW Consulting, working with clients to merchandise and market products in impulse-intense selling environments, such as vending, onsite foodservice and convenience stores. Based in the Austin, TX, area, he can be reached by emailing to Paul@DFWConsulting.net, calling him at (972) 877-2972. The company is online at www.DFWConsulting.net