Starbucks Annual Meeting: New Food; Common; Mellody Hobson and More.
The Starbucks was annual meeting of shareholders was Wednesday, March 18, 2015 in McCaw Hall. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the details inside the meeting. You can watch a replay of the meeting on the Starbucks investor relations page. The news has been full of highlights from the meeting:
- Starbucks announced a stock split.
- Starbucks will test out barista delivery of beverages/ orders beginning with the Empire State Building.
- Starbucks has launched mobile order and pay in the Pacific Northwest, as of yesterday, and intends to roll it out nationally this year.
- Starbucks plans to grow the store portfolio in the Americas by 3,500 in the next five years
- Starbucks detailed their RaceTogether initiative.
^ I think you have probably heard all of the above things.
I’ll mention a few of the fun things I saw and experienced this meeting. First off, right when I walked in, I saw partners wearing these great MyStarbucksRewards aprons! I wanted one! I asked several partners if I could just have one of theirs, but I had no success in getting any partner to pull their apron off and donate it to me. 😉 (Okay, I didn’t expect that to happen). I love these aprons! I still want one!
One thing I thoroughly enjoy about these meetings is the food that gets sampled in the lobby before you go inside the auditorium. I definitely ate a few of the Thai chicken wraps!
The Starbucks Thai-style Peanut Chicken Wraps were part of the recent “Go Go Goodness” food test in both San Diego and Orlando. I’ve heard that the Thai-style wraps are coming to Starbucks stores (in fresh markets, I believe) on March 31, 2015.
There were sample trays going around with a dark cherry Greek yogurt as well as a strawberry Greek yogurt. These were not the same as the current yogurt parfaits in stores. The yogurt has a new recipe and has been developed with a close partnership between Evolution Fresh and Dannon. I noticed that it’s a creamy, less tart yogurt. I only tried the dark cherry yogurt, as I wondered around the lobby waiting to go into the auditorium.
Every time I sampled a food item, I asked the person holding the tray a lot of questions about it. I hope I recall this right, but I believe that the newly-formulated Greek yogurts will be introduced into Starbucks sometime in April.
I even thought it was cute that there were little mini chocolate croissants – apparently those were made for the meeting, and it’s not a new size coming to Starbucks stores. I had sort of hoped that a mini croissant was in the works – sometimes I want a smaller croissant!
The Omega-3 Bistro Box also has its roots in the very recent “Go Go Goodness” food test. It looks a little different than the test version – I don’t recall the test version having any cucumber slices in it. The partner handing out samples of this bistro box mentioned that its slated for a July launch into Starbucks stores.
You can see that the food can keep you busy!
Here’s the food summary –
- Thai-sytle Chicken Peanut Bistro Boxes – Launching at Starbucks March 31, 2015
- New Greek Yogurt – Launching at Starbucks in April
- Omega 3 Bistro Box – Launching in July
The presentations and performances during the meeting included Mellody Hobson on being “color brave,”; Common on love and connecting; and musical performance by Jennifer Hudson.
I strongly urge you to read some of Mellody’s stories here.
Speaking of Common, much later in the day, I was at the Roastery with four friends, and in walked Common, who sat very close to our table, at the Experience Bar of the Roastery. (In this article, there’s a small discussion of the Experience Bar at the Roastery, and coincidentally, the same partner who was working on Wednesday the 19th, when Common dropped in).
We whispered amongst ourselves, ‘How can we get a group selfie with Common?’ Our table was so close by that at one point when Common turned in profile, I quickly snapped this picture of him. He’s dreamy! 🙂
Common was with an entourage, and after visiting the Experience Bar for a while, they headed out of that area of the Roastery, walking past my table. Suddenly, the conversation about the selfie really picked up. Which one of us would be forward enough to do a little shoulder-tap and get us the selfie with Common. Somehow, I got picked. I may have gotten the short end of the straw. So as Common was walking away from us, I walked up to a blonde woman trailing behind him, and pretty much literally tapped her on the shoulder. She appeared to be with the Common entourage. This worked. He was so gracious. Common came right over to us and stood for a selfie. He was absolutely wonderful about it! The selfie photo was quite back lit, so I’m not including it here, but you can imagine Common and four partners and one customer in a big selfie at the Roastery. It was a lot of fun!
Turning back to the annual meeting, the question and answer period is one of the most interesting segments of the annual meeting for me. It’s a free-for-all anyone-can-ask-leadership a question event. It’s pretty interesting the kinds of things that people ask about. This year, the topic of gluten free food dominated the q & a. One customer wanted Starbucks to be a leader in hiring blind baristas. She did make a good point that the shareholder materials could be produced in braille. I too asked a question. I asked about Howard’s memorable experiences in meeting with our active duty at many military installations, in his recent travels. Unfortunately, he didn’t answer my question. I was a little disappointed not to get an answer because I was left hanging. He sort of said, “I’ll tell you a story the next time I bump into you…” By the time I asked my question, the meeting had ran very long, and I was nearly last, so in the interest of time, I can see why he did that.
That’s it for Melody’s annual Starbucks shareholder meeting recap!