Starbucks rolls out two new products with a sustainable focus

Starbucks joins Sip, Return, Repeat trial test
Starbucks joins Sip, Return, Repeat trial test / Starbucks

While many people bring that refillable water bottle everywhere, the reusable coffee cup, straw, and other beverage cup is not quite as prevalent. Starbucks wants to change that concept. Now is it time to put a sustainable focus on sipping those favorite coffee beverages.

Everyone likes to get rewarded for their choices. From loyalty reward programs to members privileges, that little effort to give back with every purchase or being part of a club makes people feel valued. In a world where consumers are more conscious about their spending dollars, those positive sentiments are vital to customer loyalty.

Starbucks has used certain moments to not only give back to consumers but also to create a buzz. On July 10, the free reusable straw giveaway is one of those two-fold moments.

First, who doesn’t love a freebie. From the annual Red Cups to a special discounted beverage, people will run to get that giveaway.

Second, the free reusable straw can change consumers habits. If that colorful straw becomes a visual reminder to reuse, it has done its job. As long as a few disposable straws are saved because of this promotion, the concept is a winner.

Even though Starbucks redesigned their beverage lips to be “sippable,” people still want straws. Those plastic varieties are not eco-friendly. Better for the planet alternatives are not always popular. With a free reusable straw in the glass, there is no excuse not to switch to a more sustainable option.

Starbucks sip return repeat
Starbucks joins Sip, Return, Repeat trial test / Starbucks

Starbucks goes beyond the straw with sustainable beverage cup options

Since the beginning of the year, Starbucks has stepped up its sustainability conversation. The new cup design uses less plastic. Personal, reusable cups can be used in stores.

In the next chapter of sustainable focus beverages, Starbucks partnered with NextGen Consortium to join a city-wide returnable cup test. Joining forces with other restaurant brands including, Dunkin’, Peet’s Coffee, Burger King, and Yum! Brands, Petaluma, California will become a test-market for the concept.

It is the first time that a city-wide returnable cup program will be used. Single-use cups will be swapped for the returnable ones. Throughout the city, return bins will accept the cups. The program will run from August 5 through October 28, 2024.

As the cups say, it is about “Sip, Return, Repeat.” While the nod to the classic Earth Day phrase is clear, it is more than just words. The concept is meant to change consumers’ habits. Some people cannot have their own personal reusable cup. Others might not like the idea. But, everyone can order, enjoy, and return a cup that can be used over and over again. It is a simple concept but one that is manageable.

Given Starbucks’ influence in the restaurant market, these programs could make a difference in the single-use market. Hopefully, the concept will expand beyond the one test city. The impact that these concepts could have would be a game changer.