Starbucks Is Smashing Sales Expectations With These Drinks

If you love coffee, then chances are you've sipped a Starbucks drink or two in your day. With an extensive beverage menu that ranges from lattes to macchiatos to flat whites to, of course, the chain's signature 1995-launched blended Frappuccinos, Starbucks has a drink for every palate. 

But when it comes to the tastes of Generation Z in particular — that's folks born after 1997 (via Pew Research) — Starbucks reports that these young people have a deep love for the chain's iced drinks in particular. And purchases of beverages such as Iced Cinnamon Dolce Lattes, the chain revealed in its quarterly earnings report on August 2, are catapulting the coffee giant into record-breaking revenue (via New York Times).

In spite of persistent inflation that in many cases has consumers spending less on dining out (via Morning Consult), as well as Starbucks' ongoing labor-related disputes and lawsuits, which have resulted from employees' drive to unionize, sales at the chain have pressed on.

Customizable iced drinks are driving Starbucks' most recent success

According to The New York Times, Starbucks' latest earnings report, for its fiscal third quarter ending in July, brought some sweet news for the chain. In spite of record inflation that's been driving up the cost of food and drinks and leading more than 53% of U.S. adults to change their eating and drinking habits in order to save money (via Morning Consult), the coffee chain reported a record $8.2 billion in revenue during the quarter. And according to interim CEO Howard Schultz, a full 75% of those sales can be attributed to the colorful, sweet, cold drinks that Starbucks offers, which are widely beloved by Generation Z.

Schultz told The New York Times that Gen Z loves to customize these drinks, then take a pic and upload it to social media. As a result, Starbucks is following young people's lead, offering even more options for bespoke drinks in order to capitalize on the trend — as well as push up the overall price of the drink as customers add on syrups and substitute plant-based milks, CNBC noted. "We're at the early stages with cold beverages in the modifiers and customization, and that gives us a competitive advantage," he told the Times. Schultz also predicted that sales would remain steady as more office employees return to work — and to their habit of picking up some joe on their way.