Starbucks launch lunch

NEW YORK — Starbucks wants coffee fans to think of it as a spot to grab lunch or late afternoon bite – not just a place to get a cup of morning joe.

The Seattle-based coffee chain is looking to increase its sales in the U.S. by making its food a bigger attraction, particularly in the slower afternoon and evening hours.

In April, for example, Starbucks Corp. launched several new sandwiches and salads, including options such as a Turkey and Havarti sandwich and a Hearty Veggie and Brown Rice Salad Bowl.

Troy Alstead, chief financial officer at Starbucks, said at the Jefferies Global Consumer Conference Tuesday that one out of every three purchases in the U.S. already includes a food item and that food accounts for 19 percent of overall sales. That’s up from the low-teens “not that many years ago,” he said.
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