Top 3 Reasons the New Starbucks Beer-Flavored Latte Could Be a Game Changer
Today the word got out that Starbucks is testing a new espresso drink flavor. But it’s not a regular espresso drink flavor – it’s a beer espresso drink flavor. Starbucks has confirmed that it is testing a new “Dark Barrel Latte,” meant to resemble the chocolate-malty flavor of a dark stout beer, at test cafés in Ohio and Florida. Made with coffee and steamed milk (it’s not a mocha, according to its ingredients list), then topped with a “chocolaty stout flavored sauce, whipped cream and dark caramel drizzle,” the espresso drink is meant to join the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the Oprah Chai Latte in the Starbucks pantheon of autumn drinks. As an alternative to the PSL frenzy, we like where Starbucks is going with this one:
1. It’s a New Frontier in Creativity for the Chain
Sure, in certain ways the Dark Barrel Latte is still riffing off of familiar flavor profiles, some of which have always been available at Starbucks. A caramel-drizzled latte is nothing new and, while Starbucks has never offered a chocolate malt-flavored espresso drink before, we’re already imagining a malted chocolate flavor not unlilke Whoppers candies or Ovaltine. From Sam Adams Black and Brew to CBC Blue Bridge Coffee Stout, we’ve had more than our fair share of delicious coffee-infused stouts in our day. We’re exceedingly excited to find out how well it will work the other way around.
2. It Could Pave the Way for More Savory Offerings
Sweet drinks are great, but so is variety. There’s a growing market for drinks that fall less on the sweet side, like kale-heavy green drinks and vegetable-flavored teas. Unexpected flavor profiles are trendy, and this new offering feels like Starbucks building off the success of its Salted Caramel Mocha to play more with interesting variations outside of the usual sweet and sugary base flavors. If the chain finds success here, we could see more experimentation with flavors that reveal a more bitter or savory edge.
3. It’s a Fully Work-Safe Beer for Breakfast
Really what more could you want – besides the ability to keep that flavor but trade the alcohol in for caffeine so that you can still enjoy it with a croissant, drive in to the office, and function throughout the work day? If Starbucks’ Dark Barrel Latte is able to deliver that, we’re all for it. This could go over especially well in a beer-centric city like Portland or San Diego, where we have beer on the brain at all times. Even in a city where it seems like there’s a brewery on every block, it’s not always a good time for a pint. But it’s pretty much always a good time for coffee, and a pint-flavored coffee sounds like the best of both worlds.
Hy-Vee and Google Cloud partner
Hy-Vee has signed a multiyear partnership with Google Cloud to stay on the cutting edge of digital technology and drive innovation for its customers – both in store and online.
One of the most popular grocery stores in the USA, Hy-Vee is an employee-owned corporation headquartered in Iowa with a revenue of $11b.
Google Cloud services will support Hy-vee customers
While Hy-Vee has worked to stay at the forefront of digital shopping trends, the COVID-19 pandemic affected grocery shopping in many ways, causing more consumers to shop online and create higher demand in its virtual shopping space.
Utilizing Google Cloud’s solutions, localised information and features will make it easier for customers to complete their grocery shopping online and allow Hy-Vee to provide more personalized service and easier ordering.
The company is utilsing a suite of services powered by Google Cloud to:
- Make online shopping easier for customers who use its Hy-Vee Aisles Online services,
- To integrate Hy-Vee’s virtual dietitian services
- To enable customers to schedule vaccinations online including the COVID-19 vaccine.
The continued integration of Google Cloud services will help Hy-Vee launch future innovations as the company fulfills its mission of making customers’ lives easier.
Hy-vee is bringing innovative technology to customers
As recently reported in Food Digital, Kroger has started a drone delivery service for customers in Ohio. Now Hy-Vee has found another unique way to deliver to customers an improved shopping experience.
“The pandemic accelerated many digital initiatives for Hy-Vee as consumers shifted the way they shopped at our stores,” said Aaron Wiese, President, Digital Growth, and Co-Chief Operating Officer at Hy-Vee. “Google Cloud is helping us provide a unique and more personalized experience as we work to integrate all our digital platforms and look to further simplify the customer’s interaction with our services – whether that be in our aisles in person or online.”
“Hy-Vee is leading the way in bringing innovative technologies to its customers,” said Jim Anderson, Managing Director for Google Cloud. “We’re proud to partner with Hy-Vee to streamline processes and power innovative digital experiences. As they look toward the future, our services will help accelerate the grocer’s plans to be the best place to shop.”