Starbucks Corp. is expanding its Mercato lunch menu to 1,250 locations when it rolls out the grab-and-go bistro menu at more than 300 units in the greater Los Angeles area.
Los Angeles is the fifth major metro area that has introduced Mercato, which launched last year in Chicago.
The Mercato menu can be found in Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and Sacramento. The Seattle-based coffeehouse operator said its culinary team researched ideas for the menu by visiting restaurants and grocery stores all over the country to “look at what people were eating.” The menu features meals made with handpicked breads, cheeses, veggies, grains and greens.
Items include a Roasted Turkey & Dill Havarti Sandwich, Grilled Chicken & Cauliflower Tabbouleh, Honey BBQ Sriracha Chicken Sandwich and a Cubano Sandwich. Meals are priced at around $10 or less.
At the end of the day, surplus food is donated to local communities through a partnership with Feeding America.
In addition to the Mercato expansion in Los Angeles, Starbucks introduced three permanent items to its nationwide menu: a Serious Strawberry Frappuccino, Chicken Chorizo & Tortilla Sous Vide Egg Bites and a Kitchen Sink Cookie.
The new foods debut on Tuesday.
Starbucks said the Serious Strawberry Frappuccino joins the new Ultra Caramel and Triple Mocha Frappuccinos on the permanent menu in the U.S. and Canada. The Frappuccino starts with a swirl of strawberry fruit puree followed by the new, reinvented Strawberries and Crème Frappuccino (a blend of ice, milk and a strawberry infusion blend) and is finished with strawberry puree and vanilla whipped cream.
Chicken Chorizo & Tortilla Sous Vide Egg Bites are made with antibiotic-free chicken chorizo, chipotle salsa and corn tortilla strips. The new cookie combines pecans, pretzels, marshmallows and chocolate chunks into an all-in-one sweet and salty cookie.
Limited-time offers will also debut this week, including a Frosted Doughnut Cake Pop (left), Confetti Sugar Cookie and Summer Berry Swirl Croissant.
During a shareholder meeting in March, Starbucks said it planned to double its food business by 2021. When the company launched Mercato, it said the chain had grown its food business by 1.5 times since 2013.
The menu updates came as leader Howard Schultz announced plans to step down as executive chairman and member of Starbucks’ board of directors in late June.
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