Starbucks to add plant-based items as part of eco-friendly strategy

'We are looking ahead with a heightened sense of urgency,' said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson

Starbucks is the latest brand jumping into plant-based food.

The coffee giant, which brought in $26 billion in revenue in 2019, announced it will add items from the booming category as it moves toward a more environmentally friendly menu.

And Americans are hungry for the addition: From April 2017 through April 2019 U.S. plant-based retail sales shot up more than 31 percent to a total close to $4.5 billion, industry data show. The global plant-based market is expected to grow, too, reaching $140 billion over the next decade, according to investment bank and financial firm Barclay’s.

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Demand has caused not only a carousel of fast-food giants to add plant-based options, like Burger King’s Impossible Whopper and Qdoba’s plant tacos, but supermarkets are also getting in, including Costo and Kroger, which already has its own plant-based food line.

Starbucks’ stock has jumped 2 percent in the past week and is up 48 percent on the year.

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Also as part of its plan, the coffeemaker will continue to shift away from single-use plastics, create better waste-management practices and invest in forest conservation.

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“We are looking ahead with a heightened sense of urgency and conviction that we must challenge ourselves, think bigger and do much more in partnership with others to take care of the planet we share,” Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said in a press statement. “By embracing a longer-term economic, equitable and planetary value for our company, we will create greater value for all stakeholders.”

Starbucks did not mention a timetable or any specific plant-based item but told FOX Business that the plant-based items will revolve around its breakfast menu, which includes a variety of ham, turkey and egg options.

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