Starbucks Corp., the worldís largest coffee-shop operator, is giving Americans another reason to stop by for breakfast: new sandwiches.
On March 4, the Seattle-based chain is introducing La Boulange-brand breakfast sandwiches in the U.S., such as a 490- calorie ham-and-swiss croissant and a ciabatta with vegetables, egg and fontiago cheese thatís 470 calories, Linda Mills, a spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. Both will be $4.45, she said.
Starbucks, led by Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz, has been revamping its food offerings to boost sales and encourage more frequent visits. Itís selling new bakery items such as flourless chocolate cookies and cranberry-orange scones across its U.S. cafes. The chain has outperformed rivals lately and in January reported quarterly profit that rose 25 percent, surpassing analystsí estimates.
The company will also start selling an egg-and-cheddar sandwich on toast for $2.95 and a reduced-fat turkey bacon sandwich with egg whites for $3.45 that has 230 calories. Itís current veggie and Monterey Jack and reduced-fat turkey bacon sandwiches will be replaced.
Starbucks bought La Boulange-owner Bay Bread LLC in 2012 for $100 million to help improve its cafe foods. Last year, the company announced a pact with Danone to sell Greek yogurt in Starbucks stores and food retailers.
The company first began serving sandwiches in 2003. They have since experimented with different kinds, including those on bagels and combinations of sausage, turkey bacon, and ham and eggs on English muffins. Schultz changed the chainís breakfast sandwiches in 2008 after their aroma overpowered the scent of coffee.
There are about 20,100 Starbucks locations worldwide, including more than 11,500 in the U.S.