Launches and Initiatives: The Latest Offerings from the Largest Players

The industry is constantly introducing new proposals to create more collaboration, as well as increasing sustainability credentials. Sonia Sharma finds out more

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New schemes are helping to propel the food industry further and also to enhance synergy throughout the supply chain.

Two large players – Starbucks and JWT – have launched initiatives in different formats to enhance collaboration with different industry partners, as well as simultaneously connecting to consumers and sharing information. We find out more about the latest offerings.

Starbucks: the paper cup charge

Last month Starbucks announced that it would start testing a 5p paper cup charge across all 950 stores in Britain following a three-month trial in London. The charge will see all stores add 5p on to the cost of any drink purchased in a paper cup in a bid to further encourage customers to bring in a reusable cup. Customers using reusable cups already received a longstanding 25p discount off any Starbucks drink, aimed at reducing paper cup waste. The announcement comes after positive trial results showed a 126% uplift in the use of reusable cups in participating stores, measured by the number of customers redeeming the reusable 25p cup discount.

“We saw encouraging results from the first three months of this trial with Hubbub, and what stood out to us was the positive response we had from our partners (employees) and customers who continue to push us to innovate and find ways to reduce waste” said Martin Brok, president at Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Extending this to all our stores across Britain is an exciting step and we’re hoping this charge will remind customers to rethink their use of single-use plastic as it has with plastic bags.”

Throughout the three-month trial Starbucks worked with environmental charity and behavioural change experts Hubbub, who compiled a report evaluating the overall impact of the charge on customer behaviour. The report shows that the percentage of customers bringing in their own cup or tumbler increased in the trial stores from 2.2% before the trial to 5.8% during the trial.

Customers using reusable cups already received a longstanding 25p discount off any Starbucks drink, aimed at reducing paper cup waste

“Single-use plastics is an issue that has become more significant in people’s minds than ever before. The trial proved this, showing that customers have an increased awareness of the need to reduce waste from single-use cups” said Trewin Restorick, CEO and Founder at Hubbub. “A 5p charge is an effective way to prompt this change. We’re excited to be working with Starbucks, particularly as they take on board the findings of the trial and introduce the charge across the whole of the UK. We look forward to discovering what more can be done to encourage people to use reusable cups.”

The funds raised from the 5p cup charge to all stores in Britain will continue to support recycling and sustainability efforts with Hubbub, with a focus to reduce plastic pollution across the UK and prompt consumers to rethink how we use plastic.

The Food Index: marking a launch

The world’s oldest advertising agency network J Walter Thompson recently launched a new food futures consultancy called Canteen, to help brands big and small grow and innovate within the ever dynamic world of food culture.

To mark the launch Canteen commissioned its Food Index (FINDEX) study to map the consumer sentiment of 3,200 respondents, from the UK, US, France and Brazil towards food culture, with the study revealing how diverse the role of food can be in our lives, from wellbeing and creativity to political and sensorial. The study revealed statistics such as:

  • 18% of Americans and Brits and 24% of French distrust big food brands, with 53% citing over-processed foods as the main reason, followed by 49% thinking brands prioritise profit over quality
  • 36% of those surveyed across all markets are tired of seeing food on social media
  • Despite the growing popularity of small, independent food companies, 11% distrust them with 30% citing they’re too expensive and 17% stating they haven’t been around long enough

“The biggest challenge we see food companies face today, especially big food, is to break out of the classic packaged goods behaviour and to start living and loving its role in the world of food” said Megan Van Someren, founder of Canteen at JWT. “We’ve commissioned this research to not only benefit brands, big and small, to help reimagine their business through the lens of food culture but to also benefit people and the food system overall. Together, we have a huge opportunity and responsibility.”

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