Starbucks to yank cold drinks for more food display space

SEATTLE Starbucks Corp., which has been quietly building the food portion of its business, plans to drop a line of sodas to make more room in its refrigerated display cases for salads, sandwiches or other lunch items.

The 13,000-unit coffeehouse chain announced it would stop carrying a boutique soda brand by the end of June so it can offer more food items. Currently more than 1,700 Starbucks coffeehouses in the United States and Canada already offer warm breakfast and lunch sandwiches, said a company spokeswoman.

By the end of the year, Starbucks also plans to have eliminated the use of artificial trans fat in its foods and beverages in North America, and it is changing from whole milk to 2-percent-fat milk for all espresso-based drinks.