Starbucks, the global coffee chain, which started about four decades ago, offers over 80,000 combinations of drinks to choose from.
Starbucks, the global coffee chain, which started about four decades ago, offers over 80,000 combinations of drinks to choose from. While you may be feeling the urge to go back and check the Starbucks menu to see if this holds true, the mind-boggling number of drinks offered by the company is not mentioned on any Starbucks menu directly. So how is Starbucks able to brew so many different drinks? The answer to this lies in high customisation that Starbucks allows its customers. From the size of your cup to a plethora of toppings like caramel drizzle, whipping cream to coloured sprinkles, the possibilities of curating personalised Starbucks drinks are kind of endless. In fact, if you decide to try all of the Starbucks drinks and order one different drink daily, it will take over 200 years to try them all, or roughly over three average human lifetimes, taking an average human life to be around 70 years.
The power of choice
Rory Sutherland, vice-chairman of global advertising firm Ogilvy Group, compared these choices offered by Starbucks to Sigmund Freud’s idea of “Narcissism of small differences”. It would be impossible for anyone to choose their coffee from all the available options, but an elimination by attributes helps people do it, Sutherland said in a recent episode of the EconTalk podcast with economist Russ Roberts. “We still cope making these choices… if you presented Starbucks coffee like a Chinese restaurant menu numbered 1-80,000, none of us will be able to choose. But if you do it by elimination, we kind of go through some checklist, we arrive at something that is probably closer to what we wanted,” he said.
Starbucks in India
Starbucks was brought to India by one of the leading FMCG companies in the country — Tata Global Beverages Ltd. In 2012, these two companies announced a joint venture of 50% each and TGBL now owns and operates Starbucks stores in India. However, Starbucks had earlier tried to enter India in 2007 but withdrew the business in sometime. Starbucks’ first India store was opened in the financial capital of the country — Mumbai.
After over six years of its India debut, Starbucks started bringing in cash for the Tata Global Beverages and broke even at cash-level in August 2019. Starbucks enjoyed about 23% growth in April-June quarter of 2019 and has been opening new stores in the northern regions. The company has a foothold in eight cities and has over 157 outlets in India.
The US-based company opened the gates of its first Starbucks store in 1971 in Seattle. Howard Schultz, the present chairman and chief executive officer of the coffee chain, purchased the company in 1987 with the help of local investors.