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Coffee news: straw bans and changing hands

  • News
  • September 5, 2018
Coffee news: straw bans and changing hands

In the wake of the government’s decision to ban single-use plastic bags, The Coffee Club has stepped forward with its own initiative; replacing its plastic straws with a recyclable and compostable option. As local coffee does it best to grow, Restaurant Group has sold Starbucks to a new owner.  

As one of our largest café chains, The Coffee Club’s move to the environmentally friendly option will eliminate nearly one million plastic straws annually, or 898,000 to be more precise.

“Like many of our customers, we are concerned about the negative environmental impact of plastic straws being disposed of irresponsibly,” explains The Coffee Club co-director, Andy Lucas. “Earlier this year, we stopped using straws for many drinks that simply didn’t need one, which reduced our straw usage dramatically. Moving to a non-plastic straw for the remaining drinks will allow us to further reduce waste and minimize the impact that our stores have on the environment.”

With the commitment to eliminating plastic straws from its stores, The Coffee Club joins the ranks of other New Zealand organisations and brands working to reduce the use of single-use plastic, such as Bird on a Wire, Countdown, Burger Wisconsin and Mexicali Fresh.

Signaling change, Starbucks has also made an effort to get rid of its single use plastic straws. The New Zealand arm of the popular America coffee chain was recently sold to investment company Tahua Capital from its previous owners Restaurant Brands.

The chain was sold for $4.4 million, which included its 22 New Zealand stores and 266 employees. Starbucks is an international chain that success saw its founder become worth 2.9 billion. Yet out of Restaurant Brands many sub-brands, Starbucks New Zealand only contributes to less than four percent of total sales.

According to Restaurant Brands annual report for 2018, the groups total sales were at $740.8 million. Meaning Starbucks, accounts for less than $30 million of that total amount.

Although still increasing its earning potential, the chain falls nowhere close to Restaurant Brands' other key players, such as KFC, Pizza Hut and Carls Jr, which it is now focusing on. 

Starbucks may have found it hard to keep up with our strong coffee culture, one that is for shopping locally. The annual report showed total store sales were down marginally by 3.3 percent for a year to year basis.

Restaurant Brands announced on Monday that it was selling its licence to Tahua after introducing the US coffee brand to New Zealand 20 years ago. With once 50 stores, the chain has found it difficult to compete with our expansive coffee culture, now down to 22 stores at the point of its sale.

The sale is expected to take $1.3 million off Restaurant Brands’ net profit.

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