Starbucks Fans Compete To Bring Pumpkin Spice Lattes to Their Cities First


Show some big love and bring Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Starbucks will use its more than 24 million fans on Facebook to help usher in the fall holiday season and announce the anticipated return of its popular Pumpkin Spice Latte.

The coffee chain will unveil a Pumpkin Spice Latte application and challenge on its Facebook Page Monday.

The beverage-branded Facebook game — a first for Starbucks — will ask users to compete to bring the Pumpkin Spice Latte to their cities a week before the drink’s official release date.

“One of the things that we know about the Pumpkin Spice Latte is that we have a huge fan base around this beverage that we bring back every year,” says Alex Wheeler, vice president of global digital marketing for Starbucks. “We wanted to do something fun and different this year … and empower customers to bring it to their city first.”

The Facebook application, as seen below in mockups shared exclusively with Mashable, will include three different points-based activities. Beverage fans can earn points for city shout-outs, solving a daily challenge or making a daily creation.

A daily challenge might task a Facebook user to watch a video and answer trivia questions, Wheeler says. A daily creation, for instance, would have a user create and share a postcard for his or her city. “We’re providing the tools for users to create art and promote it,” Wheeler adds.

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The Ultimate Guide to Starbucks’ Secret Menu

Starbucks on-the-go

A list of the coffee giant’s off-the-menu items

Frequenters of Starbucks know the situation all too well: You’re standing in line, reciting the precise order of the five different descriptors that constitute “your drink,” when you hear the person in front of you make a request so foreign sounding it completely throws your concentration.

A Zebra Mocha? A Grande Green Eye? A Captain Crunch Frappuccino? Say what? They may sound like a far cry from the standard drip cup or your simple Mocha Frappe, but these drinks are not Starbucks folklore. And really, considering that the coffee giant has in years past boasted offering some 87,000 different drink combinations, that such “secret” items exist should not be too surprising.

As it turns out, many of your fast-food and restaurant chain favorites have “secret” menus — places like Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Subway, Chipotle, and even Jamba Juice. Of course, the one at beloved West Coast cult favorite, In-N-Out, is arguably the most famous. So well-known, in fact, that there’s really not much “secret” about it anymore. Starbucks’ off-the-menu items are certainly not as widely publicized as In-N-Out’s, but they are known enough to the point where you won’t get a dirty look from the barista when you ask for a Double Dirty Iced Chai.

Read on for an in-the-know guide to the “secret” drinks at Starbucks. Just remember that not all of the drink names may be universal so make sure you can at least explain how the drink is made to your barista.

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Coffee Wars: Is Dunkin’ Donuts More Valuable Than Starbucks?


Dunkin’ Donuts may soon really be able to live up to its slogan — “America runs on Dunkin'”.

Dunkin’ Brands Group (DNKN) raised roughly $423 million after its IPO priced above expectations Tuesday evening. The company sold 22.25 million shares priced at $19 each. After prolonged delay Wednesday morning, the stock jumped more than 30% when it opened for trading and was recently fetching nearly $27.

The company is set to use the funds to pay down debt and expand the Dunkin’ Donuts brand across the Midwest and to the West Coast. Dunkin’, which ranked #1 ahead Starbucks in terms of customer loyalty over the last five years, plans to double U.S. storefronts over the next two decades.

Right now the chain operates only 100 of its 6,800 stores outside the Northeast. That means a new store and fresh cup of joe could be coming very soon to a location near you!

But the expansion of the blue-collar, no-frills brand could have negative implications for small local coffee shops and it could even stir up a brewing rivalry with high-end retailer Starbucks. Check out this video spot released after Dunkin’ conducted a consumer taste test: Dunkin’ Beat Starbucks. (If those aren’t fightin’ words, then what are?)

If you’re not familiar with the Dunkin’ way, you can expect good coffee at a good price and even a few food options that go beyond the obvious choice of donuts. From a consumer perspective, part of Dunkin’s success is the fact that it has really stuck to its roots, says Dan Gross, Yahoo! Finance economics editor. It has grown its menu selection without adding complicated, confusing and trendy options like Starbucks’ $4 latte.

Another difference between Dunkin’ and Starbucks brands is the potential for growth, as Aaron Task points out in the accompanying clip. Since Starbucks has already saturated many U.S. markets it must look abroad to grow its business. Dunkin’ on the other hand, has the opportunity to expand across nearly the entire U.S.

As noted, the IPO beat the expected range of $16 to $18 per share. The company was hoping shares would price at least in the mid-rage at $17 per share to give the Dunkin’ Brands Group a market value of roughly $2.5 billion. “Based on those figures, the company’s shares would trade at 3.7 times 2010 sales, a richer valuation than Starbucks, which at the close of trade on Monday traded at 2.8 times calendar 2010 sales,” reports Reuters.

In the latest installment of The Daily Dish, Aaron and Dan discuss the Dunkin’ Donuts vs Starbucks rivalry and what the Dunkin’ IPO means for consumers.

Flavored lattes, caramel macchiatos, instant coffee


Really, is a 12 oz. coffee beverage really worth three times as much as a liter of unleaded gasoline? If it isn’t, then why do we continue to buy it?


MANILA, Philippines — I was in one of the many coffee shops along Katipunan Avenue, sipping on a medium-sized iced white chocolate mocha worth a hundred and fifty pesos, when the absurdity of my situation occurred to me. That was last Wednesday afternoon, the last time I was within the confines of a coffeehouse.

The absurdity was this: I was sipping on a medium-sized iced white chocolate mocha worth a hundred and fifty pesos.

That it struck me as absurd was the first absurd thing about it: I am a part of the Starbucks generation, the coffee revolution; lattes and macchiatos are part and parcel of my daily life. But that I had never before considered the economic consequences of this decision—for many of us, a regular, inconsequential decision—is the second. Really, is a 12 oz. coffee beverage really worth three times as much as a liter of unleaded gasoline? If it isn’t, then why do we continue to buy it?

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Starbucks Introduces New Mobile Coffee Application


Are you addicted to Starbucks?  If so, you will find of interest a new mobile application created just for you.

Earlier today, Starbucks took to their blog announcing a new mobile app they have created.  The posting was logged from author “April F” the brand’s Director of Global Mobile Beverage..

The idea behind the new app is simple –  Starbucks has placed two baristas on scooters in every square mile of seven of the country’s largest cities.  Their main goal?  To deliver coffee at the whim of your GPS enabled smartphone.

With a few swipes on your phone’s screen, with the Mobile Pour app, you can have coffee delivered to you within minutes.  The novelty of this mobile application is rather intriguing, considering the commentary stating “There is a Starbucks on every corner.”

This mobile application shows Starbucks knows their brand and is willing to make light of their role in the coffee industry.  Interesting to introduce such a new mobile application on April Fool’s Day….

The full blog post, should Starbucks remove it:

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