Starbucks holiday flavor map

Starbucks Corp. on Tuesday released a map of which specialty drinks sold best in states and regions across the United States this holiday season.

Popularity varied from iced drinks in warmer climes to themed versions of Starbucks year-old flat white coffee in the Northeast.

Studies by global research firm The NPD Group have found these seasonal, limited-time offers can fuel additional visits by existing customers, attract new patrons and also increase spend per transaction.

NPD’s research earlier this year in its Checkout Tracking platform, which harvests receipts from more than 35,000 diners to determine consumer purchase behavior, found the seasonal beverages can boost visit frequency. Bonnie Riggs, an NPD analyst at NPD, said, “If you can increase visit frequency by one full visit, that’s a lot of volume.”

Starbucks for its 2015 holiday sales map examined the number of units sold per thousand of all Starbucks menu items. Here’s what the company found in state and regional differences:

California: The Golden State order iced drinks, making Iced Chestnut Praline Latte and Iced Peppermint Mocha more popular than elsewhere in the nation.

Florida: The Sunshine State also went for an iced beverage, with the Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino topping the list.

Hawaii: The Aloha State greeted the Caramel Brulée Frappuccino more warmly than any other state.

Texas: The Lone Star State went big for one of Starbuck’s newest holiday flavors, the Chestnut Praline Latte.

Northeast: This region went for a newer option, the Holiday Spice Flat White. Starbucks noted that its baristas said a similar drink was a flat white with gingerbread syrup.

Pacific Northwest: Traditionalists appeared to be gathered nearer Starbucks’ Seattle headquarters, with the long-popular Eggnog Latte remaining the traditional top choice in this region.

Midwest: Caramel Brulée Latte was the most popular beverage choice in the nation’s midsection.

Mid-Atlantic and Southeast: Gingerbread Latte was the best-seller in the Southern states.

Western Mountain Region: The traditional Pumpkin Spice Latte, which debuted nationally in 2004, was introduced in August this year and sales held up through the winter holidays in the Mountain States. The flavor has extended into many other menu items at multiple restaurant brands.

Contact Ron Ruggless at Ronald.Ruggless@Penton.com
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