4,399 $m
For a brand that’s synonymous with coffee, Starbucks is venturing well beyond its coffee shop model. Key investments this past year include a USD $100 million acquisition of San Francisco-based artisanal baking chain La Boulange, an attempt to improve its food offering and take on rivals encroaching on its coffee business. The brand also paid USD $620 million for the US-based Teavana chain in November 2012, expanding its tea lineup beyond its Tazo brand. Starbucks also successfully launched its K-Cup (Keurig’s popular system) single-serve tea and coffee for the at-home market in a bid to take on Nestlé’s Nespresso brand. Whether these strategies will have an impact outside the US remains to be seen, especially given the brand’s ambition to grow its store footprint in the Asia Pacific region. Having added 516 new stores in Asia Pacific in the past year and revenue up 22 percent, the strategy appears to be paying off. The most checked-in brand in the world according to Facebook, Starbucks fans are particularly engaged in Indonesia and the Philippines. In the hot seat over corporate taxes in the UK, it remains to be seen whether this will have a long-term impact on the brand. All eyes will be on recently appointed CMO Sharon Rothstein to see how Starbucks responds to these challenges and opportunities, particularly as the brand seeks to further roll out its customer experience worldwide.