Starbucks made news this week in a move to change its image, with the debut of “Blonde.” A light roast, Blonde follows the introduction of a medium roast several years ago and it’s hoped it will fill a niche for customers not thrilled with Starbucks’ signature dark roasts.
The coffee chain conducted a survey and found that 40% of coffee drinkers in the US prefer a lighter roast. Such roasts usually exhibit a milder body and acidity. It might make a difference to know how the question was phrased, because it’s vague to state these coffee drinkers prefer a lighter roast – lighter than what?
Many coffee drinkers prefer a lighter roast than the burned nature of this chain’s beans, but wouldn’t want a really light roast. Time will tell whether or not Blonde passes the test. The Chicago Tribune ran a couple of articles about the new Blonde roast. Part of the discussion centered on how the new roast would affect sales of Starbucks’ other roasts. The aim is not to cause current customers to switch, but to attract new customers now going to other cafes with lighter roasts. Keeping up with the competition is the name of the game.
But it’s not just the café playing field that is targeted. In fact, Blonde is expected to make the biggest sales in the supermarket packaged coffee variety, rather than through the coffee brewed in Starbucks cafes. In the coffee aisle it will be competing with other light to medium roasts, which are that venue's biggest sellers. Free Blonde tasting events will be held in participating coffee shops in the US from Thursday to Saturday of this week. Have a taste and you be the judge. Let us hear your opinions in the comment section of this news article.
To read one CoffeeKind blogger’s reaction, check it out here. If you like light roasts, CoffeeKind has many. Check out a few below.