retail news in context, analysis with attitude

with brief, random, italicized and occasionally gratuitous commentary...

Bloomberg reports that Starbucks plans to open hundreds of stores in Europe, including the UK. According to the story, this will add to the existing fleet of 17,000 Starbucks currently operating in what is referred to as the EMEA region - Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

I wonder if any of these will be in Greece. If you read Michael Lewis’s Boomerang, you get the impression that the Greeks have plenty of money to spend on lattes because nobody there pays their taxes.

• The Los Angeles Times reports that Ben & Jerry’s is jumping on the Greek yogurt bandwagon with four flavors - Strawberry Shortcake, Raspberry Fudge Chunk, Banana Peanut Butter and Blueberry Vanilla Graham.

It is not a bad bandwagon to get on; as the story goes, “Greek yogurt, overall, has had one of the fastest growth spurts the food and beverage industry has seen in recent history. In each of the last three years, sales of Greek yogurt have boomed more than 100%, while non-Greek yogurt has crept along at single-digit speeds, according to consumer data tracker Nielsen.”

And, the Chicago Sun Times reports that this isn’t the only bandwagon on which Ben & Jerry’s is jumping - one of its Massachusetts stores has introduced an ice cream named after NY Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin. “Taste The Lin-sanity” reportedly included vanilla frozen yogurt, lychee honey swirls, and bits of fortune cookie...until the company decided to replace the fortune cookies with waffle bits.

• The Los Angeles Times reports that Taco Bell is changing its slogan, from “Think Outside the Bun" to “Live Mas,” as the fast feeder looks to emphasize “food as an experience instead of fuel.”

The story notes that this is just one of several initiatives launched by the Yum Brands-owned chain. It “recently debuted a First Meal breakfast lineup, and it began testing a more health conscious Cantina Bell menu, which could position Taco Bell as a stronger competitor to newer Mexican chains such as Chipotle.”

I’ve been asked by MNB users to stop hating Taco Bell so much. So I’ll give them as pass on this one, even though I’m dying to quote Roberto Duran...
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