We caught up with a Starbucks spokesperson who gave us the lowdown on the new La Boulange line of freshly made baked goods and pastries the chain serves warm.
FE&S: Did the introduction of these baked goods cause new equipment needs in stores?
SB: The warming of the bakery products is critical to delivering the best possible experience to our customers. In the back of house, we've added freezers if there aren't existing capabilities, and in the front of house, our existing and new rapid-cook ovens allow us to deliver warmed products to-order for each customer.
FE&S: How often does Starbucks receive shipments from La Boulange?
SB: We have created a process that delivers fresh-baked foods quickly, treating frozen product like fresh. The products are frozen at their peak then delivered to our stores and re-baked-to-order.
FE&S: In the style of "artisan" foods, do these products have "limited ingredients," meaning fewer preservatives, etc.?
SB: Over the past five years, Starbucks has taken steps to evolve its food offerings based on customer feedback and diversifying its portfolio to include smaller portion sizes. In 2009, we committed to the removal of unnecessary stuff, such as artificial flavors, artificial dyes, artificial trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This applies to the new La Boulange bakery items.