Starbucks SWOT Analysis

Coffeehouse chain Starbucks (formerly Starbucks Corporation) operates over 20,000 stores worldwide.

Starbucks is the world’s biggest American coffeehouse chain, with 31,256 locations globally. It was formed in 1971 in Seattle, Washington.

It became more than a coffeehouse, a third space between work and home, thanks to the energizing vision of Howard Schultz (current Executive Chairman). Starbucks’ current CEO is Kevin Johnson.

Starbucks has been selling hot and cold beverages (mainly coffee) and food since its inception in Seattle in 1971. 

This multinational corporation has lately expanded into selling branded items such as bagged coffee beans, coffee makers, mugs, and other presents. Analyzing Starbucks using a SWOT matrix can reveal what the future may hold for this world-famous business.

This Starbucks SWOT analysis illustrates how the world’s largest coffee business leverages its competitive advantages to maintain its successful global expansion.

It outlines all of the company’s major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You’ve come to the correct spot if you want to learn more about Starbucks SWOT analysis.

Starbucks SWOT Analysis

CompanyStarbucks Corporation
Year foundedMarch 31, 1971
IndustriesCoffee House
FounderGordon Bowker, Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl
CEOKevin Johnson
HeadquarterSeattle, Washington, United States
TypePublic
Areas servedNearly Worldwide
Market Cap$135 Billion
Revenue$19.16 Billion

Starbucks’ SWOT analysis is as follows:

Strengths Of Starbucks – Internal Business Model

Starbucks can take home billions of dollars each year after expenses suggest that they are doing something right. Furthermore, earnings seem to be increasing over time! These are a few of their best characteristics:

Starbucks SWOT Analysis

1. Strong correlation between brands and public image

Starbucks Corporation is the food and beverage industry’s most well-known and powerful brand. 

Its size, volume, and the number of devoted consumers have steadily increased over time. According to the 2019 Interbrand rating, it has a brand worth of $11.7 billion.

Starbucks is one of the most trusted consumer brands in the market. Many places across the country and long lines for most drive-throughs demonstrate this business’s devotion to its customers, continuing to ensure the business’s longevity. 

It was partly responsible for transforming coffee into a “luxury” product rather than a commodity. 

Furthermore, it maintains a strong brand presence through popular products and active public relations activities. Starbucks is one of the world’s top five most admired corporations.

2. Extensive Supply Chain

Starbucks has perfected supply chain management through large volumes of goods and high business volumes. It obtains coffee beans from all around the world to ensure that customer demand is constantly satisfied.

Starbucks is well-known for having a large worldwide supplier network. Coffee beans for Starbucks are sourced from Latin America, Africa, and Asia-Pacific.

Starbucks obtains coffee beans from 30 nations worldwide, including Central and South America, Asia, and the Pacific Islands.

3. Excellent financial performance

Starbucks has a solid financial position in the market, with annual sales of $26.5 billion and a profit of $3.6 billion in the fiscal year 2019.

This customer excitement has resulted in strong sales statistics year after year, allowing Starbucks to expand its core regions’ number and density of shops. 

Starbucks would frequently open thousands of locations in a single year, dominating the market and driving out competitors. 

Even developing countries such as China has witnessed rapid growth in recent years. Starbucks had approximately 31,000 locations globally.

Starbucks is no exception to the rule that smart corporate acquisitions may strengthen an already strong firm. Teavana, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Evolution Fresh, Tazo, Torrefazione Italia Coffee, and Ethos Water are among the top six firms it has purchased. 

Starbucks has had a lot of success with these purchases. Its acquisition of existing brands allows it to seamlessly incorporate current brands into the corporate fold, enabling additional income streams and options for various product classes in its stores. Starbucks’ total assets were $19.22 billion.

5. Taking good care of employees

Starbucks pays its staff well, which leads to happier employees who provide excellent service to consumers. Starbucks has continuously been named one of Fortune’s Top 100 Companies to Work For.

Starbucks is one of the most well-known corporations. The firm is well-known for treating its employees with respect and concern for their well-being. 

It has received industry recognition for its employee care and has frequently made news for its pursuit of greater compensation for its frontline workers.

6. A diverse product line

Starbucks has also broadened its commercial operations by providing novel goods and culinary items. One example is the inclusion of coffee-flavored ice cubes, which results in a stronger coffee flavor.

Starbucks has produced hundreds of exclusive beverage alternatives strongly linked to the entire brand, such as the ever-popular pumpkin spice latte, for such a fundamental food item as coffee. 

Branded items allow customers to promote their allegiance to the brand even further. The expansion into supermarket goods allowed customers to carry their favorite mixes to their homes or offices rather than depending only on the café. More than 350 million cups of pumpkin spice lattes have been sold by Starbucks.

7. Customer Loyalty Program

Starbucks has an excellent incentive program that keeps consumers coming back for more. You receive three points for every dollar you spend ($1 Equals three stars). 

You get a free drink when you gather 150 stars (150 stars = 1 free drink). Furthermore, reward members enjoy the convenience of mobile payment, pre-ordering, complimentary birthday beverages, and so on.

8. Standardization, Taste, and Quality

Starbucks has grown thanks to its premium drinks and excellent coffee internationally. It provides high-quality, consistently standardized items at all of its sites.

9. Reinvestment Strategy, Strategic Planning, and Efficiencies

Starbucks reinvests its revenues in extending its operations in new places. Its effective operations and well-thought-out strategic decisions have resulted in several benefits for the firm.

10. Unisex Restrooms

Starbucks has implemented gender-neutral toilets to safeguard the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community from harassment. The bill responds to laws that discriminate against transgender individuals, in particular under anti-LGBTQ legislation.

Weaknesses Of Starbucks

Starbucks has some weaknesses, just like every company. These are the most important:

Starbucks SWOT Analysis

1. High prices for products

The cost of a cup of coffee is considerably higher than at rival restaurants, and there are dozens of beverages and customization options available. 

People who consider coffee to be more of a necessity rather than a pleasure will find that making their own at home or the office is significantly less expensive. Starbucks faces this challenge every day of beating this impression and justifying its high prices.

Many middle-class and working-class consumers find Starbucks products more expensive than McDonald’s and other coffee shops. Prices are too high for most customers to afford.

Starbucks items are typically 38 percent more expensive than their rivals’.

2. Variable supply costs

Starbucks’ pricing is closely related to the price of coffee beans. It obtains higher-quality beans, as it markets itself as a purveyor of excellent coffee products. 

Any increase in the cost of acquiring raw coffee beans must be passed on to the user somehow. The cost of coffee may rise even further at the register if prices continue to rise, which may discourage some customers.

3. Products are imitational

The commodity is a necessity in many parts of the world despite its intimate connection to coffee. 

There are dozens of big chains and hundreds of smaller businesses that serve coffee, and individuals can also purchase coffee straight from supermarkets.

Starbucks may not have the most distinctive items on the market. Other coffee shops and food franchises have nearly identical goods, such as McDonald’s McCafe and Dunkin Donuts. This makes it very easy for other firms to imitate the items.

Therefore, Starbucks must work harder to position itself as the preferred choice over lower-priced alternatives or those that do not appeal to people who just want a regular coffee.

Starbucks controls two-thirds of the specialty coffeehouse industry.

4. Product recalls

Product recalls may be disastrous for any food and beverage company if they are not handled quickly and correctly. 

Selling a product that contains foreign pollutants or allergies might not only cause harm to its customers, but it can also result in a public relations disaster. 

Starbucks has recalled several popular items over the years. This might have a detrimental impact on the company’s brand image and lead to a loss of customers. 

Error prevention and correction are critical action measures to avoid future damage to the brand’s image. In 2016, Starbucks recalled two food products due to allergy contamination.

5. Avoidance of European taxes

Starbucks has been chastised for failing to pay product taxes in several European regions. This resulted in a huge public relations disaster that might have had long-term consequences for the company’s brand name. 

A few errors did not harm the company in the long term. However, more significant errors may cost the company considerable social capital and financial capital. Several problems and accusations have been leveled against it in the UK due to its tax evasion. 

Researchers at Reuters found that the company didn’t pay income tax on the company’s £1.3 billion in sales from 2011-2012. Starbucks reportedly paid no taxes on its £1.2 billion in sales in the United Kingdom.

6. Most products have general standards

Starbucks’ beverages tend to be high in sugar and calories, making them extremely harmful if consumed regularly. 

The firm has built its brand on flavored, sweetened items that consumers enjoy. Consumers may prefer fewer chemicals, but the product has built its name on a taste that appeals to consumers. It is critical to provide healthier options and to make changes to its recipes to avoid this problem.

Its product offerings do not always conform to the cultural norms of other markets. Creating beverages that go over well with consumers’ tastes is not the case in some regions. A Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino from Starbucks has 510 calories and 85 grams of sugar.

Opportunities of Starbucks

Starbucks coffee chain, however, has various opportunities which it can exploit for better revenue and future growth. Here are some:

Starbucks SWOT Analysis

1. Diversification of products

Starbucks is well-known for certain products, but the company may do even better by branching out into new markets for niche items. 

It can investigate other beverage options that further modify the base coffee product or investigate wholly distinct goods such as teas, sodas, and infused waters. Its culinary selection could also be expanded to provide customers more options.

The company is well-known, so releasing new products and festive flavors (Peppermint Mocha, Eggnog Latte, Gingerbread Loaf) under the brand name would be profitable and well-received in the market. Starbucks has a customer satisfaction rating of 78 percent.

2. Expansion in emerging markets

Starbucks already has a significant presence in the United States and is becoming more steady in China year after year. 

These results can be used as a blueprint for expanding into other varied areas, drawing on lessons learned and interacting with additional communities to establish an even stronger global brand reputation. 

It may maintain its incredible track record of expansion by becoming the first or largest player in key markets.

Starbucks primarily operates coffeehouses in the United States. Global expansion in growing economies such as India, China, and a few African nations might provide the organization with significant opportunities.

Starbucks is present in 83 countries throughout the world.

Starbucks has remained largely on top of consumer trends, however meeting the constantly changing expectations of its customers has been a challenge. 

The organization can keep on top of new trends and tastes by conducting thorough research, consistently collecting consumer feedback, and developing new items quickly.

There are endless possibilities presented by the latest coffee trends and innovations, from best foam technology to snap-chilling, back to black, and RSI-reducing gizmos. Starbucks introduced cold brew coffee to its customers.

4. Partnering with other companies/brands

Starbucks can reap the benefits of a relationship with other established corporations by co-branding some items with other companies or cross-promoting other brands in its outlets. 

When this type of partnership is done properly, it strengthens the public impression of both businesses and can enhance sales.

Co-branding is usually advantageous. The coffee company has the opportunity to establish alliances and collaborate with large corporations. It would thus be able to increase its market share.

Several different coffee creamer products are being sold in commercial shops because of a collaboration between Starbucks and Nestle.

5. Introduce price differentiation

Most of the goods available at Starbucks are fairly priced, which may deter some customers and force them to seek out less expensive alternatives. 

It may also consider more cost-effective alternatives that would appeal to frugal or more cost-conscious drinkers as it pursues new premium-level products, thus bolstering a fairly basic market segment for the company.

Some coffee shops are rapidly expanding their customer base by supplying normal and premium coffee to cater to different classes. 

Starbucks may sell normal coffee at a lower price point to appeal to the middle class while still offering its more expensive type as premium. Starbucks’ worldwide revenue was $26.5 billion.

6. Coffee Subscription

Coffee subscriptions are already available at Panera Bread. Starbucks may also try out a new coffee subscription service to broaden its client base.

7. Delivery service for coffee

Food delivery services such as GrubHub and Uber Eats have grown in popularity recently, particularly during the COVID-19 outbreak. Starbucks might capitalize on this growing customer demand by working with companies such as this to distribute its products or launching its in-house delivery service to better cater to client preferences.

Starbucks coffee delivery is handled through Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Postmates. For a better customer experience, Starbucks might launch its coffee delivery service.

Online meal delivery service revenues are estimated to exceed $97 billion in the next several years.

8. Enhancing online channels

A growing number of people are ordering take-out coffees because of the epidemic. It will be better for Starbucks if it improves its online sales channel so that more people could pick up their coffee at a pickup location or curbside.

Threats For Starbucks

Starbucks faces a few threats in its quest for continued growth and the status of the world’s largest coffeehouse chain. They are:

1. Supply chain problems

Several factors could affect the supply chain later on, such as failing coffee bean crops, severe weather events, or even strikes at third-party providers. 

This leaves the company vulnerable to minor tweaks anywhere along the supply chain, from the bean production to the brewing process in the restaurant. Starbucks should look for ways to reduce potential deficits whenever possible.

Starbucks’ supply chain comprises numerous third-party contractors and stakeholders, making it challenging to manage the entire chain properly. Several Starbucks coffee shops in the Midwest faced a shortage in 2019 due to a strike by one of the company’s major suppliers.

Coffee prices are projected to climb due to crop shortages caused by weather.

2. Competition from low-cost coffee retailers

The prices for a typical cup of coffee at other breakfast food franchises are substantially lower than at Starbucks. 

These chains pose a significant danger to a company that feeds on higher-priced sales, whether owing to reduced profit margins or a modest decline in quality.

Many coffee shops sell their wares at reasonable prices. There is a risk that Starbucks, whose prices are higher, will become financially vulnerable.

Starbucks’ coffee items are significantly more expensive than McDonald’s, and some of the ingredients used can be the same.

3. Easily replicable

Many standard menu items can be replicated for much less money than the ones found in most diners. 

Let’s say Starbucks wants to dominate the “basic” coffee market. If that is the case, the company must overcome the misconception that simplicity makes replication difficult, either by emphasizing the original beans or the brewing process.

Coffee retail sales in the United States total $5.18 billion.

4. COVID-19 after effects

The COVID-19 epidemic drastically altered the general public’s spending and purchasing habits, and some of the consequences would be seen for years to come. 

Restaurants were compelled to operate with severely limited customer capacity or close entirely, resulting in significant revenue drops. Every corporation, including Starbucks, will have to deal with the economic consequences of the pandemic.

Starbucks has temporarily closed an estimated 2000 shops in China owing to a coronavirus epidemic. Starbucks has 4123 outlets in China, and over half of them are closed, which will negatively influence their financials in 2020.

Over 17 percent of all American restaurants will remain closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

5. California warning rule controversy

Starbucks and other corporations were ordered by a California judge to include warning labels on their coffee products in March 2018. This was about preventing a cancer-causing violation caused by chemicals.

6. Global recession

The company may also be affected by other national and international recessions, despite its “high-end” brand image. 

A cup of expensive coffee may become one of the first items cut from customers’ budgets if they want to cut back on extras. It may be possible for Starbucks to offer more affordable options to avoid this type of loss in its customer base.

The current recession will be worse than previous recessions, according to experts. Starbucks’ income has already begun to decline. 

The pandemic has resulted in a 5% decline in revenue in quarter two of 2020, while 38% fell in quarter three. The global economy is expected to contract by 5.2 percent this year.

7. Local coffee shops

A smaller, locally-owned coffee shop promoting community ties or a “shop local” philosophy is at the opposite end of the spectrum. 

There will be a bad taste in the mouths of consumers who see a bigger restaurant chain displacing a small business, and Starbucks needs to be aware of this niche, which has even more loyal supporters among some community members.

The number of coffee and tea establishments in the United States has decreased by 7.3 percent.

8. Rise in raw coffee bean prices

The price of unroasted Arabica coffee beans (representing 60% of global production) has fluctuated dramatically throughout the pandemic over concerns about availability, hoarding, and disruption of the supply chain. 

The financial health of Starbucks is adversely affected by every additional dollar spent on costly raw coffee beans.

9. Philadelphia arrests

Several racial tensions popped up on social media in April 2018 after two African-American males were arrested at Starbucks. The Starbucks personnel refused access to the restrooms because they had not purchased anything. The CEO, Kevin Johnson, eventually apologized to both men.

10. Movements of independent coffeehouses

Starbucks has numerous sociocultural threats. These sociocultural movements advocate for small independent and local coffee shops while opposing the expansion of giant international corporations.

Final Words on Starbucks SWOT Analysis

Starbucks has positioned itself for long-term success with strong brand recognition, innovative product options, and a sound financial foundation. The firm still has room to grow and expand even further. 

Consumers can choose it for decades to come if it solves supply chain problems, keeps costs low for customers, and explores new channels for sales and development.

That covers all of the important points in Starbucks’ SWOT analysis. To summarize, if they play their cards correctly, this company’s big name and large money should allow them to navigate any volatility that the future may bring. 

A creative attitude to learning, improving, and adapting should ensure it’s. The existence is like with any company. Starbucks still has many opportunities to take advantage of at the moment, along with a few threats to handle.

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