Better Essays
Journal of Case Research in Business and Economics

Coffee Wars - The Big Three: Starbucks,
McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts
Michael G. Brizek
South Carolina State University
Coffee – for some, a morning cannot begin without it. Many daily rituals include it. It can be seductive, enticing, and addictive. Hard-core coffee drinkers pride themselves on their coffee palettes, their refined ability to distinguish “good” coffee from “bad.” And once a diehard coffee drinker finds his favorite blend, mountains sometimes must be moved to entice him to deviate from it.
But, for decades, the idea of “good” coffee was synonymous with “expensive.” If a consumer wanted to try the best blends or flavors, he had to be prepared to pay for
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Starbucks has continued to grow over the years, launching its VIA™ Ready Brew coffee in 2009 (Starbucks Timeline, 2010).
Today, Starbucks has more than 15,000 stores in 50 countries, and is known as the world’s premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee (Starbucks Heritage, 2010).
Mission Statement
As stated on Starbucks’ company website:
“Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time” (Starbucks Mission Statement, 2010).
The company lives by certain principles every day to ensure achievement of this mission. These principles include creation of quality coffee using the finest coffee beans, embracing diversity in its employees (called partners), building a human connection with its customers, creating a sense of belonging through its stores (havens), being a part of a neighborhood through development of a sense of community, and delivering rewards to all its stakeholders. Because Starbucks understands the importance of social responsibility, and is tremendously dedicated to the “green movement,” it has a separate environmental mission statement.
“Starbucks is committed to a role of environmental leadership in all facets of our business” (Starbucks Mission Statement, 2010).

Coffee wars, Page 2

Journal of Case Research in Business and Economics
Starbucks fulfills this mission by understanding environmental issues, using
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