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Starbucks banks on fall special offers

starbucks toasted graham latte

Introducing its first new fall beverage in four years, Starbucks today announced the addition of the Toasted Graham Latte to its seasonal menu.

The latte, which was inspired by graham crackers in milk, features flavors of graham and sweet cream and is topped with cinnamon graham crumbles. 

“While there are many customers who want to hold onto summer, there are others who can’t wait for it to end,” said Jimmy Balch, senior designer for store promotions at Starbucks. “We wanted to give those who celebrate fall something special.”

Yet Starbucks’ motivation for the new drink likely lies beyond autumnal celebration. Recent data shows that seasonal beverages can increase customers’ loyalty as well as their check averages.

Looking at the purchasing behavior of pumpkin-spice latte buyers, market-researcher NPD Group found that 20 percent of those customers purchased the seasonal item twice, and around 8 percent bought it three times during the offer period.

During fall and winter 2014, those customers also spent an average of $1.14 more per visit, NPD Group says, often the result of adding food to their beverage orders. 

Coinciding with the release of its new latte, Starbucks Tuesday completed its U.S. rollout of mobile ordering and payment to company-owned stores. Starbucks units have seen a “significant uptick” in customer satisfaction after launching Mobile Order & Pay, the company’s CFO noted earlier this month. 

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