Starbucks Whips Up Better-For-You Breakfasts

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Starbucks Whips Up Better-For-You Breakfasts

SEATTLE -- On the heels of Dunkin’ Donuts rollout of healthier food offerings under 300 calories, Starbucks also announced a reinvention of its breakfast food, code named Morning Source, to roll out Sept. 3, USA Today reported.

The long-anticipated move into better-for-you food will boast fewer calories, more protein, fiber and fruit, the newspaper reported. Six new items include hot oatmeal, an energy bar and a whole-grain apple bran muffin with fruit pieces, the report stated. The program comes as the coffee giant struggles with drops in traffic at its U.S. stores, according to the report.

Next year, the company also plans on revamping its lunch and dinner menus, in an effort to lure back core customers who are visiting and spending less, the report stated.

"Food has been our Achilles' heel," corporate founder and CEO Howard Schultz told USA Today, adding better-for-you food is part of Starbucks' evolving health and wellness program, a "billion-dollar" idea. "This is as big an initiative as anything we can do."

Industry consultant Malcolm Knapp told the paper the real motive behind Starbucks’ move to healthier food is more focused on luring back its core coffee customers than selling more food. "Starbucks is following a fundamental trend: People want to eat better-for-you food that tastes good," he said.

Meanwhile, frequent Starbucks critic and New York University nutritionist Marion Nestle was enthusiastic about the new menu, telling USA Today, "This sounds groundbreaking. If it works, it will influence the whole industry."

Starbucks challenged its suppliers in the creation of the new menu. Of 200 food items considered over two years, six were selected, according to Lesley Zavar, director of the food category for Starbucks. These include:

-- Perfect Oatmeal: whole-grain oatmeal served hot in a cardboard to-go bowl for $2.45, and customers can select two of three mixes for the oatmeal: dried fruit, nuts or brown sugar.

-- Apple Bran Muffin: a $1.75 muffin with 330 calories, which is made with whole-wheat flour, oats, wheat bran, apples, cherries and honey.

-- Multigrain roll: For $1.60, the roll has 280 calories and seven seeds and grains, and is served with almond butter or strawberry preserves.

-- Energy bar: A Chewy Fruit & Nut Bar is made with oats, dried fruit, nuts, seeds and honey. It has 250 calories and sells for $1.75.

-- Power Protein Plate: For $4.95, the breakfast includes a hard-boiled egg from uncaged hens, a small whole-wheat bagel, a 70-calorie pack of peanut butter, cheddar cheese wedge, apple slices and grapes.

-- Fruit pastry: For $1.75, the Berry Stella began rolling out last month and is made from whole-grains and seasonal fruits.