Starbucks buys first farm, plans to double loyalty card members

Starbucks Corp., already on a tear buying tea, juice and bakery companies, just snapped up its first coffee farm and is planning to double the number of people signed up for its loyalty programs.

Photo Credit: David Goldman/Associated Press

Photo Credit: David Goldman/Associated Press

The company is expanding its roughly 3-year-old My Starbucks Rewards program, allowing customers who buy Starbucks’ packaged coffee in grocery stores to earn points that can be redeemed for free treats in the chain’s cafes.

The Seattle giant, presenting at its annual investor meeting Wednesday, is calling the offering the “first cross-channel, multi-brand loyalty program” ever. The initial perk will be available in May, then expanded this fall to other Starbucks supermarket products.

And in April, patrons who buy from Teavana – a tea-focused chain Starbucks acquired in November – will be able to earn Starbucks points if they use the company’s loyalty card or mobile app. 

Starbucks predicted that such incentives will cause membership in the chain’s loyalty program to double to 9 million people by the end of fiscal year 2013 from 4.5 million participants in October. The program already adds some 80,000 new members a week, according to Starbucks. Read More.