Starbucks overtakes McDonald’s as chain favourite

LONDON - APRIL 25:  A Costa Coffee store is seen next to a Starbucks Coffee store in central London on April 25, 2006 in London, England. The all traditional English style Breakfast 'Fry-Up'  is under threat of being replaced by more continental style coffee shops on the High Streets.   (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

In its latest survey, ‘Taking Stock With Teens’, investment bank Piper Jaffray found more US teens chose Starbucks as their favourite restaurant over the country’s largest chain by sales, McDonald’s.

UK high street operators will be interested in these findings as what happens over the pond tends to happen on this side of the water sooner rather than later.

Starbucks’ popularity with young consumers is poised to stay strong says a report on the survey by Goldman Sachs which also said Starbucks was well-positioned to benefit from the new wave of millennial parents who “would not feel guilty/embarrassed to feed to their kids” there.

“Starbucks’ popularity, particularly as it starts to sell more food, reflects the changes in consumer preferences and growing competition that have been causing problems for McDonald’s, which is battling declining sales and will shed 59 US stores this year.

“The burger chain is in the midst of a turnaround plan than includes new marketing, premium product launches, and all-day breakfast,” according to a report in BuzzFeed News.

Starbucks was most popular among high-income teens, who come from a family with an average household income of $107,000.

Mid-income teens (family incomes up to $57,000) preferred McDonalds, which came fourth over all in the poll after chains, said the survey.

Burrito chain Chipotle, with just 1,900 outlets, was the upper-income teens’ second favourite restaurant while Atlanta-based chicken sandwich chain Chick-fil-A, which only recently started expanding into the North East, came in third.

Starbucks, meanwhile, reported sales growth of 7% at sites in the Americas region that had been open 13 months or longer for the nine months ending in June.

Piper Jaffray surveyed 9,400 teens with an average age of 16 for the report.

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