Starbucks Supply Problems

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Alpha8472
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Starbucks Supply Problems

Post by Alpha8472 »

Starbucks is discontinuing 25 items due to supply issues. Examples include hazelnut syrup, toffee nut syrup, iced green tea, oat milk, refreshers, and more. There has been a shortage of caramel syrup at many stores.

Customers of Starbucks are some of the pickiest and difficult customers of any restaurant chain. If you have ever seen people complain and hold up the line, Starbucks is the place. You will always see a massive scene and out of control customers throwing tantrums.
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Re: Starbucks Supply Problems

Post by babs »

Alpha8472 wrote: June 8th, 2021, 8:01 pm Starbucks is discontinuing 25 items due to supply issues. Examples include hazelnut syrup, toffee nut syrup, iced green tea, oat milk, refreshers, and more. There has been a shortage of caramel syrup at many stores.

Customers of Starbucks are some of the pickiest and difficult customers of any restaurant chain. If you have ever seen people complain and hold up the line, Starbucks is the place. You will always see a massive scene and out of control customers throwing tantrums.
They're not being discontinued. Just temporary suspended until they get restocked. As a new fan of Oatmillk, you just have to ask. Some locations have it, others are out. I've been disappointed, but never thrown a tantrum.
storewanderer
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Re: Starbucks Supply Problems

Post by storewanderer »

One has to question why there are supply issues on these items. I get a few items, but this is a large number of items. I wonder if the labor shortage is hitting at every level- the manufacturers of these ingredients, the distribution centers for the manufacturers, the truckers to drive it from manufacturer to the food service distributor, then staff at the food service distributor and then the food service driver to take the stuff to Starbucks.

This is creating a specific problem for people who want to use the app. The items are disabled on the app. As babs suggests- you can ask and a location may have these items available. You can't ask the app...

We will see if this impacts Starbucks or if customers give them a pass on this. Starbucks seems to get to make a lot of mistakes and customers remain loyal.
Alpha8472
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Re: Starbucks Supply Problems

Post by Alpha8472 »

The problem is probably not a complete shortage of these items. The employees could go to a supermarket and buy oat milk or some other brand of hazelnut syrup. However, Starbucks is frugal and does not want to spend a huge amount of money on expensive ingredients. They are trying to get their supplies at the lowest possible cost. If they cannot get it for a low price, they are not going to pay extremely high costs to source these items from other suppliers. If they change the hazelnut syrup to another brand, they will have to revamp their nutrition facts and ingredients lists on their app and website. There will be lawsuits over allergens and other issues.

There is not just a shortage of ingredients. The Starbucks cafes are running out of simple things such as drink carriers, straws, cups, plastic utensils, etc. I am beginning to think that this is all a cost cutting scheme in disguise. Starbucks will save so much more money if they simply order less stuff. Less utensils, drink carriers, bags, stirring sticks, straws, etc. They will order less from their suppliers until their suppliers lower their costs to Starbucks. The suppliers have been price gouging Starbucks claiming that the pandemic has increased costs for ingredients, raw materials, etc.
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Re: Starbucks Supply Problems

Post by storewanderer »

For basic items like milk, Starbucks could pull from a supermarket but some of the items like the syrups that may turn into a problem. There is a noticeable difference in the syrups Starbucks uses compared to the syrups some other coffee chains use and that is one of the key components that makes Starbucks so consistent.

If you look at a licensed Starbucks there are certain items but not many (milk is one of them) that they have multiple options regarding what brands they can use and who they can buy from, but other items (notably the syrups and the cups/straws etc.) they still have to use the same supply chain as the corporate Starbucks use.

I wouldn't be surprised if it is a cost cutting move. Just seeing how much people will put up with...
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Re: Starbucks Supply Problems

Post by buckguy »

They actually do seem to buy some items at local stores. My local Starbucks gets their milk from Safeway, but I'd imagine there are ingredients where their proprietary supply does provide consistency.

There continue to be seemingly random shortages of products in stores, so I'm guessing that the same is true of instutional supply chains. Rye bread was difficult to find for a while a few months back. Vinegar (the regular white stuff) was short for awhile and Trader Joe's hasn't had some of their more popular pasta entrees for months.
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Re: Starbucks Supply Problems

Post by Brian Lutz »

Many years ago I interviewed for an IT job (which I didn't get) in the Starbucks corporate office, and at the time I was told that milk was by far the most expensive ingredient in their day-to-day operations, in many cases even more expensive than the coffee beans. It wouldn't surprise me, given the amount of it they go through.
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Re: Starbucks Supply Problems

Post by storewanderer »

buckguy wrote: June 9th, 2021, 6:56 am They actually do seem to buy some items at local stores. My local Starbucks gets their milk from Safeway, but I'd imagine there are ingredients where their proprietary supply does provide consistency.

There continue to be seemingly random shortages of products in stores, so I'm guessing that the same is true of instutional supply chains. Rye bread was difficult to find for a while a few months back. Vinegar (the regular white stuff) was short for awhile and Trader Joe's hasn't had some of their more popular pasta entrees for months.
Starbucks does not physically get its milk from a Safeway Store (unless you are talking about a Starbucks operated by Safeway). The food service supplier who supplies food to Starbucks has Safeway as a supplier in a number of regions; this is an agreement that goes back decades now. The food service supplier receives milk that is picked up at Safeway's dairy plant then distributes it out to the various Starbucks locations along with the regular delivery of supplies/products.
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