Starbucks pushes new food items to energize sales

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Associated Press

Posted on June 18, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 18 at 9:02 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks wants coffee fans to think of it as a spot to grab lunch or late afternoon bite — not just a place to get a cup of morning joe.

The Seattle-based coffee chain is looking to increase sales in the U.S. by making food a bigger attraction, particularly in the slower afternoon and evening hours.

Troy Alstead, chief financial officer at Starbucks, says at the Jefferies Global Consumer Conference Tuesday that one out of every three purchases in the U.S. includes a food item and that food accounts for 19 percent of revenue. That's up from the low-teens "not that many years ago," he said.

With fast-food chains such as McDonald's and Burger King increasingly offering specialty coffees, the focus on food by Starbucks could help keep sales growing.

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