Starbucks on track to resume growth, CEO announces

Steve Monfort reports at NASDAQ that new instant coffee is outselling expectations and cost-cutting is helping the bottom line, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced at a conference in California. The new instant coffee, Via, is offered at U.S. and Canadian Starbucks outlets and some other stores. A pack of three Via pouches costs $2.95. Schultz called Via “not just a new product, but a new growth platform for the company.” Starbucks has yet to offer Via outside North America, but the market for instant coffee overseas is robust. Britons drink far more instant than brewed coffee, for example.

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Starbucks CEO: McDonald’s McCafe Launch Made Starbucks Better

Reuters in USA Today reports that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said McDonald’s McCafe launch earlier this year made the cafe chain better. Starbucks (SBUX) executives have repeatedly said that the world’s largest hamburger chain’s entry into the market for espresso-based drinks, the first competitive pressure Starbucks had faced in the niche it pioneered, had no impact on Starbucks’ business. But comments beyond that have been few and far between

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Subway Breakfast Experience Not Exactly a Wake-up Call

Emily Bryson York reports in Advertising Age that Subway has an uphill climb to capture the morning daypart. Sudway announced last Friday that it would expand its test of Seattle’s Best Coffee to 9,000 locations in an effort to drive morning business — but it is going to have its work cut out for it if anecdotal evidence is any indication.

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Dunkin’ Donuts Franchisee will Open First in Overland Park

The Kansas City Business Journal reports that Dunkin’ Donuts is coming back to the metro with a new Overland Park location and more to follow. Franchisee Verona Key LLC plans to open its first Kansas City-area Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant Thursday in Overland Park.

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McDonald’s Preparing to Take Breakfast Dollar Menu Nationwide

Mike Hughlett reports in the Chicago Tribune that McDonald’s Corp. appears to be planning to mate its popular dollar menu with its equally popular breakfast menu in a nationwide promotion, and not just in Chicago and a few other markets where it currently exists, according to documents obtained by the Tribune.

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McDonald’s Cautions on October sales

Mark Brandau reports in Nation’s Restaurant News that after posting another quarter of positive sales trends and profit growth, McDonald’s Corp. said October could be the month when its momentum finally falters in the face of the U.S. recession.

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Dunkin Donuts Returns To Chattanooga

Chattanooga.com reports that Dunkin Donuts is back at its location across from Northgate Mall on Highway 153 with a wide pastry assortment and coffee selection. The grand opening and ribbon cutting at the Hixson location will be Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. and the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce will make arrangements for the event. The new 1,800 square foot Dunkin Donuts at 5311 Highway 153 will have a drive-through window and will serve its famous coffee, all-day sandwiches, doughnuts and other baked goods.

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Peet’s Coffee to Buy Diedrich Coffee for $213M

Steven E.F. Brown reports in the San Francisco Business Times that Peet’s Coffee & Tea Co plans to buy Diedrich Coffee Inc. for $213M in cash and stock. Emeryville-based Peet’s (NASDAQ: PEET) will pay $26 per share for Irvine-based Diedrich, which has about 150 workers. Diedrich’s brands include Gloria Jean’s, Black Tiger and Flor de Apanas.

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Tim Hortons to Raise Coffee Prices in Quebec

Robert Gibbens writes in The Gazette that Tim Hortons Inc. said Friday it is boosting restaurant prices in Quebec and the Maritimes next month to offset higher operating costs. The fast-growing franchise chain has 2,971 units in Canada and another 556 in the United States.

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Dunkin’ Donuts Looks to New Executives to Keep Up Buzz

Emily Bryson York reports in Advertsing Age that Dunkin’ Donuts is working with a new house blend: It’s got a new president, chief marketer and operations manager. Nigel Travis, who has been transitioning into the president-CEO role, has also hired new heads of communication and human resources. John Costello, Dunkin’ Donuts’ new marketing chief “It sounds to me like they’re looking for some fresh perspective and insights from the marketplace and not the just from the coffee and doughnut space,” said Technomic’s Darren Tristano. “After awhile, getting a fresh perspective on a pretty old brand can’t hurt.

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