New No. 3 US Chain: Starbucks

Unseats Burger King, Wendy's
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2011 6:55 AM CDT
Turns out that not as many people want it their way, right away anymore.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The Whopper and the Frosty have officially been replaced by the Frappuccino: Starbucks is now the nation's No. 3 chain, having leapfrogged in front of burger giants Burger King and Wendy's, who, according to one researcher, have been struggling to find "their niche." In terms of total 2010 sales, the Seattle-based coffee behemoth lags behind only McDonald's and Subway, reports USA Today.

The surge represents a huge shift in consumer appetites, and USA Today notes that Starbucks has been boosted by its move two years ago to yank artificial ingredients. The chain still faces challenges in the form of increasing coffee and milk prices, but Starbucks just "keeps gaining and gaining," says the researcher. "Carrying a Starbucks cup in your hand says something about you as a person." Click for all things Starbucks.

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