- (Reuters/Joel Boh)
Starbucks announced alcohol will be in their coffeehouses in Georgia and southern California by the end of the year.
Alcohol will be sold at more than 25 Starbucks locations, the company said Monday, with beer available for $5 and wine prices ranging from $7 to $9.
Currently, the company is experimenting with beer and wine sales in Spain, and previously announced plans to add alcohol to Chicago-area restaurants.
The Seattle-based company is the biggest coffee chain in the world, with over 10,700 U.S. cafes. Starbucks' announcement comes as the company attempts to attract non-coffee drinkers into stores during slow hours of the day.
In addition to the availability of alcohol, Starbucks will also be selling evening snacks such as cheese platters, focaccia with olive oil, and desserts.
The coffee chain's decision to provide alcohol is being met with criticism by those who say that the change may deter families, anger community groups, and complicate the company's business.
Senior Vice President Bill Chidley of Interband, a brand consulting firm in Centerville, Ohio, said that alcohol sales will alienate core clients.
"It makes sense if you think of the way that McDonald's grew its business by going into breakfast," said Chidley, who added that regardless of the benefits, selling alcohol may discourage parents with children from coming.
"It certainly is going to be controversial," Chidley told Bloomberg.
The coffee company also plans to open juice bars in the U.S. this year, which critics say is more compatible with its main business.
Starbucks also recently introduced blonde roast coffee, their lightest blend yet, for those who do not drink the company's signature dark roasts. The coffeehouse also reorganized their coffee offerings to categories that include blonde, medium, and dark.
Established over 40 years ago, Starbucks claims a strong commitment to the highest quality of service to customers as well as the community. The mission statement for the company is "to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time."