Today, Compassion Over Killing (COK) created quite a buzz at Starbucks’ annual shareholder meeting at the Seattle Center, speaking on behalf of the nearly 30,000 people asking the coffee chain for vegan foods nationwide, and prompting the exciting news of a new plant-based line. COK also launched mobile ads this week, targeting the meeting venue and 200,000 people in Seattle, where Starbucks is headquartered.
Attending the meeting on behalf of COK, a Starbucks shareholder, staff member Jonathan Rosenberry said to attendees: “Starbucks brightened our mornings when it became one of the first national coffee chains to pour out non-dairy milks. But millions of consumers are seeking hearty plant-based foods to enjoy with their coffee—and that’s where Starbucks’ menu still doesn’t live up to the buzz.”
In response, Starbucks’ Chief Operating Officer Rosalind Brewer, said that plant-based foods are on the way, amid high demand: “We have a line that we’d love to share with our customers later this year, so it is in our plans. We know our customers ask us that repeatedly, and we’ll be responding.”
In a double-shot campaign action Tuesday, COK also launched geo-targeted mobile ads being seen by 200,000 Seattleites as well as Starbucks shareholders and executives, emphasizing that the chain can boost its bottom line by brewing up increasingly in-demand plant-based foods.
The ads link to COK’s petition launched with journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell and signed by tens of thousands of people.
Since Starbucks confirmed to COK in 2015 that it is working on new vegan options, it has rolled out breakfast items, snacks, and a few vegan foods in select locations — including a lentil bowl and a cupcake. Yet, while CEO Kevin Johnson has stated the company’s plan to boost slumping sales by offering more plant-based options, Starbucks has yet to offer filling vegan dishes across the country.
In February, during a tour stop in Seattle, singing sensation LP amped up COK’s campaign by calling on Starbucks to “give more people access to healthier food.”
COK’s corporate outreach campaigns, joined by hundreds of thousands of people, have prompted vegan options at major chains and retailers, including Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, Pita Pit, Tim Horton’s, and more.