Starbucks to Pour Freebies

Execs hope new 'everyday' blend will boost soft sales
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2008 8:59 PM CDT
Starbucks baristas will be doling out free cups of its new "everyday" blend tomorrow at over 7,000 stores nationwide. The company seeks a jolt after waning sales and waxing competition.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Starbucks will pour a new blend for free tomorrow (Tuesday) in an effort to rekindle customer love, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. The company is keeping the blend's ingredients—“subtle, rich flavors of cocoa and toasted nuts"—under wraps, and hopes it will boost sales as Starbucks faces fresh competition from Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's, MSNBC reports.

After tomorrow's 30-minute freebie—starting at noon Eastern Time—Baristas will grind the new blend regularly to bring back the aroma killed by bags of pre-ground. Starbucks' chief blender explained the move by saying customers wanted "coffee we can count on every day, all day, all week." CEO Howard Shultz added that a sinking US economy has left Americans less interested in buying $4 lattes.