Starbucks Mission Statement Explained

Running a coffee shop is a lucrative business, as even small cafés can generate a sizable income for their owners. Starbucks is probably one of the best examples of how lucrative this business can be.

The brand started from a single location, and it grew into the world’s largest coffee shop chain with cafés in more than eighty countries. Its purpose evolved through the decades as it changed ownership and extended its presence to other continents.

The corporation’s current mission statement is ‘to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at the time.’

Starbucks Coffee Tea and Spice Company

The Starbucks mission statement is based on three clearly outlined principles as it indicates that Starbucks’ culture revolves around its customers, beverages, and the neighborhoods it serves.

Let’s break down the brand’s mission statement and examine its core ideas.

Name  Starbucks Corporation
Founded  March 30, 1971,
Headquarters  Seattle, Washington, United States
Industry  Coffee shop
Market cap $105.72 billion

Starbucks Mission Statement: In-depth Analysis

Three college friends opened the first Starbucks store in 1971 with the aim of selling the equipment and coffee beans manufactured by the Alfred Peet Company. The brand’s founders claim that the name was selected randomly even though it seems to reference a Moby Dick character.

Starbucks didn’t offer beverages in its early years, as its focus remained primarily on selling high-quality coffee blends.

During the 1980s, the company extended its presence to six locations in Seattle, but it remained a relatively unknown local brand.

Howard Shultz purchased Starbucks in 1987 and began expanding the brand to other cities. Five years later, the coffee shop chain had 140 cafés in its network, generating more than $70 million of annual revenue.

The brand’s mission changed in the 2000s to accommodate its rapid growth. The new mission expresses the following ideas:

  • Providing services that improve the quality of life 
  • Ensuring all products meet the highest standards 
  • Caring for the customers and communities 

The value-driven purpose discloses the corporation’s focus on the future rather than just highlighting its achievements.

Providing Services that Improve the Quality of Life

Although the statement doesn’t contain any reference to the brand’s core products, it implies that coffee, tea, and other beverages on its menu can inspire and nurture the human spirit.

Starbucks‘ purpose isn’t merely to sell coffee but to ensure each drink on its menu can make the lives of its customers a little better.

The stats support this claim since the brand offers over 80,000 drink combinations and generates more than 60% of its revenue through beverage sales.

Still, Starbucks offers more than drinks to its customers since frequenting the brand’s cafés has become a lifestyle choice.

The brand prides itself in being a part of its customers’ daily routines and providing them with a space where they can meet their friends.

Hence, the corporation’s purpose is to position itself as a pillar of communities worldwide and serve as a social catalyst.


Ensuring All Products Meet the Highest Standards

The mission statement doesn’t refer to the quality of the brand’s products and services directly. It also doesn’t contain references to the brand’s food menu or the tumblers, coffee mugs, and other merchandise customers can purchase at Starbucks coffee shops.

Nonetheless, the mission statement implies that all brand products meet the strict quality criteria at all locations.

Being able to provide the same quality of service in more than 34,000 coffee shops located in eight countries is a big part of the brand’s success. The beverage and food menus are only partially standardized as the brand aims to appeal to local tastes.

Hence, coffee shops in Canada offer drinks like Maple Macchiato or Black Sesame Tea Latte, while Starbucks cafés in Japan feature Sakura Blossom Latte or Matcha Latte on their menus.

Despite these differences, the company ensures that each of its locations offers the same quality of coffee roasts, tea, and food items.

Caring for Customers and Communities

The craft of growing and brewing coffee has been the centerpiece of the brand’s success because Starbucks built its reputation by delivering unique drinks to all corners of the world.

The corporation’s culture of care starts with its relationship with coffee estates, as adhering to Coffee and Farmer Equity practices is one of its main priorities.

Starbucks collaborates with more than 400,000 farmers from thirty countries and claims that it purchases three percent of all coffee produced in the world. In this manner, the company supports local communities and ensures the financial well-being of its partners.

The company’s innovative approach to developing coffee and food recipes reveals its dedication to bringing delicious beverages and dishes to its customers worldwide.

Also, Starbucks is a part of the fabric of tens of thousands of neighborhoods all around the world and a popular meeting spot where members of different communities can meet and exchange ideas.

starbucks cafe

Starbucks Vision Statement

Social and environmental policies remain cornerstones of the brand’s plans for the future. Starbucks was one of the first coffee shop chains in the world to ban single-use plastic straws and introduce fair trade policies and farmer equity practices.

Its vision also includes expanding plant-based menu options, improving waste management practices, and making significant investments in reforestation.

Even so, the company’s website doesn’t include a conventional vision statement. Instead, it focuses on outlining the company’s goals.

The following words summarize the company’s vision well and offer insight into its long-term plans:

‘We believe that Starbucks can, and should, have a positive impact on the communities we serve.’

Although it doesn’t reveal the exact steps the corporation intends to take to help different communities, the statement proclaims its determination to improve the lives of its partners and customers.

Let’s go through some of the key elements of Starbucks’ vision.

Reaching Resource Sustainability

A few years ago, the company published a plan to minimize its environmental footprint and become resource positive by 2030.

This plan involves lowering the greenhouse emissions in Starbucks’ daily operations and supply chains by 50% and cutting down the waste its locations produce in half.

The corporation has also committed to replenishing 50% of the water it utilizes for its supply chain, global operations, and packaging.

In the next few years, Starbucks intends to invest in renewable energy sources, switch to recyclable cups, and make its stores more environment-friendly.

Ethically Sourced Coffee

Starbucks’ leadership sees a clear connection between its own success and the success of the suppliers and farmers it collaborates with.

Consequently, 99% of tea, cocoa coffee, and manufactured goods in Starbucks coffee shops are sourced ethically.

Despite this, by 2025, the corporation plans to award grants to more than 250,000 girls and women coming from tea and coffee growing communities to assist them in getting a better education or improving their living conditions.

Starbucks Corporation has farmer support centers and offers loans to farmers to help them increase and modernize production on their farms.

starbucks building

Creating Opportunities and Building Partnerships

As an equal-opportunity employer, Starbucks wants all its employees to flourish. Its education program, built together with Arizona State University, is available to the corporation’s partners (employees) based in the US.

The program covers the tuition fees and allows army veterans currently working at Starbucks to enroll a family member in one of the available ASU courses.

Going forward, the corporation plans to hire up to 5,000 refugees, youths, veterans, or military spouses every year.

Bringing Food to Impoverished Communities

Starbucks has contributed almost 50 million pounds of food that would otherwise go to waste to food banks throughout the US.

The corporation donated substantial funds to Feeding America and No Kid Hungry organizations to ensure children and adults can have access to nutritious meals.

It intends to resume its involvement with nationwide food programs as it made a pledge to direct $100 million towards hunger relief initiatives by 2030. The corporation also encourages its employees to support their communities by volunteering at a local food bank.

Starbucks Core Values

The company’s culture of inclusion, support, and openness grew from its core values, and each of these principles reflects how the corporation approaches its employees and customers. Starbucks is famous for supporting its partners and welcoming employees from all walks of life.

Hence, implementing the corporation’s core values is one of the biggest challenges potential licensors face when opening a new location. Let’s go through Starbucks’ core values.

Creating a Culture of Warmth and Belonging, Where Everyone Is Welcome

The coffee shop chain’s purpose is to be the social hub where communities around the globe can interact. As a result, welcoming all customers and partners regardless of their backgrounds is deeply rooted in the company’s culture.

Delivering Our Best in All We Do, Holding Ourselves Accountable for Results

A strong work ethic is built in the company’s DNA, and it guides every aspect of its bean-to-cup journey. All Starbucks employees are expected to perform at an admirable level and be accountable for their actions.

Acting with Courage, Challenging the Status Quo, and Finding New Ways to Grow Our Company and Each Other

Starbucks has fostered a culture of innovation for decades, so it only seems natural that its partners are encouraged to challenge the status quo and discover ways to improve the company’s performance.

The coffee shop chain provides education opportunities for its employees and helps them get on the right career path.

Being Present, Connecting With Transparency, Dignity, and Respect

Focusing on the present moment and treating each customer with the respect they deserve is an integral element of the company’s culture. All partners should maintain the policy of transparency while approaching customers and carry themselves with dignity.

Key Takeaways

  • The corporation’s purpose is to improve the lives of its customers by serving them the best beverages in the world they can’t get anywhere else.
  • Starbucks’ plans for the future involve investing in sustainable farming, supporting local communities, and reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
  • The company’s mission is to be a part of the communities it serves
  • Remaining the world’s largest coffee shop chain is an important element of Starbucks’ plans for the future.

starbucks coffee

Frequently Asked Questions about the Starbucks Mission Statement

Question: What is Starbucks’ Tagline?

Answer: The corporation doesn’t have a single tagline. Instead, its marketing department comes up with new taglines every year. ‘It’s not just coffee. It’s Starbucks’ or ‘Share Joy’ are among the brand’s most popular taglines.

Question: Does Starbucks Franchise Its Coffee Shops?

Answer: Starbucks owns and manages most of its locations, while approximately 10,000 of its coffee shops worldwide are licensed. Purchasing and owning a Starbucks franchise isn’t possible.

Question: What is Starbucks’ Target Audience?

Answer: The coffee retailer’s ideal customer is under 42 years of age, educated, and living in an urban area.

Question: Is Starbucks Expensive?

Answer: Starbucks has higher beverage and snack prices than most of its competitors.

Question: Is Starbucks Considered a Fast Food Restaurant?

Answer: All Starbucks coffee shops serve food, which is why they’re also considered fast food restaurants.

Other Companies with Similar Values

As the largest coffeehouse chain in the world, Starbucks is competing with companies like Dutch Bros. Coffee or Caribou Coffee on the US market and Costa Coffee or Caffè Nero in the international markets.

Moreover, the corporation is also facing competition from McDonald’s, Subway, and other fast food chain restaurants, even though their core products aren’t coffee-based or tea-based. Let’s look at some of the coffeehouse chains similar to Starbucks.

  • Caffè Nero – The brand is dedicated to serving coffee made from the finest coffee beans in the world. The company currently has less than 2,000 locations spread across Europe and US.
  • Costa Coffee – Starbucks and Costa Coffee were founded the same year on different sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The British chain’s network includes nearly 4,000 coffee shops, but none are located in the US.
  • Caribou Coffee – The brand’s mission of creating an experience that makes the day better is similar to Starbucks’ goal to ‘inspire and nurture the human spirit.’


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