Starbucks unveils two new holiday drinks: white chocolate, chestnut praline chai
On the heels of its Halloween social media hit the Zombie Frappuccino, Starbucks is now launching two new holiday drinks -- the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha and the Chestnut Praline Chai Tea Latte.
The new beverages are available in the U.S. and Canada now through the holiday season, while supplies last.
The coffee giant calls the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha "a festive twist on the white chocolate mocha" with caramelized flavors of white chocolate, whipped cream and candied cranberry sugar.
It describes the Chestnut Praline Chai Tea Latte as "a holiday twist on the classic Chai Tea Latte," with black tea, spices, milk and chestnut praline syrup topped with spiced praline crumbs.
The company also announced a new Candy Cane Whoopie Pie — two chocolate cakes sandwiched with peppermint icing.
Starbucks has already created buzz this Christmas season with its well-received new holiday cup design, which was unveiled on Nov. 1 and its buy-one-get-one-free deal on select holiday drinks.
Among the BOGO beverages are Chestnut Praline Latte, Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulée Latte, Gingerbread Latte, Eggnog Latte, Holiday Spice Flat White and Teavana Joy Brewed Tea.
But the Seattle-based chain is probably best known for a drink it developed for another season -- autumn's Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Dubbed PSL by its fans, the coffee offering set off a nationwide mania for all things pumpkin spice. However, this fall, Starbucks returned to the fall season with another flavor option, the Maple Pecan Latte.
"Starbucks has done extremely well in maximizing the number of trips you make to a store," said Erich Joachimsthaler, CEO of the New York-based strategy consulting firm Vivaldi. "Limited-edition drinks gets the customer into the store more and more."
He contrasted that strategy to another big coffee player, Dunkin' Donuts, which has more customers, but they're people who spend less per trip. The average Starbucks check is higher, but foot traffic is slower.
And Joachimsthaler isn't convinced the limited-time-offer play can go on forever, pointing to the pricier Starbucks Reserve Roastery concept and Tuesday's announcement that it's opening its first on-site Italian bakery called Princi.
"They have run out runway there. That’s why they're going into high-end and bakery, he said.
Starbucks stock closed at $57.91, up 69 cents or 1.21%, Wednesday.