In the Coffee War, Starbucks Finds New Weapons

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As the “Best Coffee” war wages on between Dunkin’ (NASDAQ:DNKN) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) — both setting sights on India’s growing market — Starbucks takes new approaches, some that don’t even involve coffee.

Starbucks is trying to reach customers in as many ways as possible, and that means more than just a coffee in their hands at a cafe. Starbucks has acquired Evolution Fresh for juice, La Boulange Bakery for baked goods, and will buy Teavana Holdings Inc. and its tea store chain. These acquisitions should help Starbucks put more products in the hands of cafe customers.

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And if Starbucks’s current cafes aren’t enough, the company plans to open 3,000 new shops in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region over the next five years, with China expected to hold 1,500 cafes by 2015. This should help get more hands to put products in.

But that’s still not where Starbucks draws the line. It will continue pushing more products on the shelves of grocers and supermarkets for customers to buy and make at home. Starbucks has even launched a pair of coffee-makers that use proprietary equipment for customers to make Starbucks drinks at home or in offices.

All of this is part of Starbucks’s revised growth strategy, which rose from the aftermath of the financial crisis.

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