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Starbucks Holiday Cups

Starbucks Holiday Menu’s Are Back; A Year In The Making

While it may be too early for you to whip out the Christmas lights and yule logs, Starbucks is getting the holiday season started this week with the premiere of their annual holiday cup collection, and signature seasonal beverages. The start of their holiday campaign marks the beginning of a year long effort for the companies biggest annual marketing strategy. The holidays are always a lucrative opportunity for any business, and Starbucks is no different. 

The company begins planning their holiday campaign a year in advance; this includes making and finalizing cup designs, deciding what classic holiday beverages will be returning to the menu and what new additions will make the cut. The collection also normally includes a bunch of Starbucks memorabilia including tumblers, portable coffee cups, mugs, etc. This year, Starbucks has four main cup designs, which include Polka Dots, a “Merry Coffee” dancing design, a “Merry Coffee” striped design, and a candy cane themed cup. This years holiday beverages include the classic peppermint mocha, which has been returning every holiday season for 17 years, a toasted white chocolate mocha, caramel brulee latte, chestnut praline latte and the eggnog latte.

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“It starts very early. We’re already looking at next year now and our creative team, that’s combined with our customer insights team, talks through holiday season, at the close of the season and, actually, while we’re going through the season and it begins to develop what the customer wants to see,” Starbucks COO Rosalind Brewer told FOX Business.

As stated, the process begins a year in advance, and typically during the campaigns as they’re happening. This way Starbucks executives can closely monitor what products and menu items are popular and working and which aren’t, in live time. Additionally the company analyzes consumer feedback throughout the entire year and uses focus groups to run through extensive product testing and record genuine reviews of new potential holiday menu items. 

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Other cosmetic changes will include the in store menu’s going from green to red, as well as red aprons for the barista’s. One of their biggest concerns was for distribution of their reusable holiday Red cups that work with the Red foundation. Last year the demand for the cups was so high that they sold out within the first week of promotion. Most likely because part of Starbucks’ annual holiday campaign states that anyone who purchases a red cup can return it to Starbucks locations from Nov. 7 to Jan. 7 to get a 50-cent discount off holiday beverages/refills. 

“It will be quite festive inside the building, and what’s really neat about it is we’ve done so much work this year on in-store execution. We feel really good about having enough available red cups this year in terms of the inventory of the cups and the way our baristas, are able to customize and create these wonderful beverages for our customer base,” said Brewer.

From the business side, Starbucks allot’s separate training for all its baristas during holiday promotions so they become experts in preparing complicated specialty drink recipe’s in a quick and efficient matter. They enforce the same type of training ever autumn for the pumpkin spice latte rush. This training is mainly to prepare in store staff for the points in the day where there’s a rush of foot traffic and multiple customers ordering the same complex holiday beverages. The massive preparation is also to keep up with holiday coffee competitors such as Dunkin Donuts or McDonalds, both of which always announce their holiday menus a day or two before Starbucks in order to seem ahead of the curve. However, with Starbucks now fully branding themselves with their annual holiday promotions, it’ll be hard for competitors to keep up with the red cups that take over every holiday season.

Golfing

Golfers Looking To Improve Their Game Urged To Focus On Fitness

Dan Valentine, Director of Fitness at BodySmart Golf has worked within the fitness industry for over 20 years. During this time, he has earned himself the reputation of becoming a top level rotational strength specialist, working with professional athletes from a wide range of sports such as Ice Hockey, Rugby, Tennis and Golf. He has travelled all over the world training athletes to give them the edge they need to outperform the competition, working with players performing at the very highest levels of sport including the NHL, England Rugby, US Golf Tour Pros and the ATP. All of these players require rotational power and strength, whether it be to hit a 100mph slap shot or hit a drive over 300 yards.

Dan has a Honors Bachelors Sport Science with Coaching degree from one of the top sporting universities in the country. Studying subjects such as Advanced Biomechanics and Exercise Science put him on his path to understanding how the body moves, what muscles are being used and what exercises are best to achieve the desired result. He is certified by the Titleist Performance Institute to work with golfers of all levels, analysing movement through screening in order to ascertain what exercises need to be done to improve.

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Even the most experienced of golfers can suffer from frustrating physical limitations that hold them back from achieving their full potential. These can even cause some golfers to consider abandoning the game altogether as they know exactly what they are trying to do, but their body will not let them. Dan argues that it is here where a coach or fitness specialist provide vital support to move forward as they can take a look at your performance as a whole and use their expert knowledge to help your improve upon your physical weaknesses.  

For Dan, there are certain physical limitations that hinder the development of golfers. When coaching, he checks the head position of the golfer during the backswing as this can be a clear indicator tight neck muscles if this is incorrect. Similarly, limited hip movements can cause golfers to be unable to move towards the ball and an incorrect finishing position demonstrates a lack of balance or problems in the downswing. 

The game of golf can quickly lead to injury if the player is not fully prepared and this is why Dan thinks it is so important for players looking to enhance their game to work with a dedicated fitness coach. He says that attempting to hit the ball like Tiger Woods or Gary Woodland will only cause physical issues and injury if the player is not equipped with the physical capabilities to support their actions. 

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Four areas Dan thinks are vital to golf fitness are mobility, balance, strength and speed – when all three are invested in the player becomes much more likely to reach their golfing goals. 

Mobility

Dan argues that to be successful in golf, golfers should have a wide range of movements so they are able to seamlessly move from one position to another, particularly in the swing. Without high levels of mobility, the golfer will find it tough to extend through their arms, rotate through the upper spine and limit any hip turn when on the downswing. He says that a fitness coach can support any golfer, at any level, to increase their mobility. 

Balance

For Dan, balance is of vital importance to a successful golf swing. Without it any golfer will struggling to put power into their shots. A firm connection should always be made with the ground as this helps to control the swing. Balance and mobility go hand in hand as they help golfers to create defined and controlled movements that do not cause any physical difficulties. 

Strength

He says that the strength and power from a golf swing comes from the kinetic chain. This begins at the feet, move up the body and to the hands into the swing. It is only when this is a fluid movement absent from pauses will the swing have maximum speed and power. Dan thinks that the most effective golf programmes not only include strategies to increase strength but it should also include techniques to help golfers utilise their power most efficiently.

Speed

Dan thinks that speed does not always mean doing things as quickly as possible; golfers need to know when to slow-down. Both are very important aspects of golf. Fast movements are essential during the downswing because this creates the power to drive the ball but it is important to then maximise balance skills and remain controlled during the downswing because this important to finishing in the right position. Dan says that a lack of control when decelerating increases chances of injury. 

From Dan’s extensive experience in the fitness injury, he has seen that it is only when golfers invest in their physical abilities will they be able to consistently better their game pain free.

McDonalds Sign

Times Up McDonald’s: The Company’s New Training Program For It’s US Stores

McDonald’s is making headlines this week and it’s not for it’s signature dollar menu. Instead, the giant fast food company is now offering a new and improved training program after countless reports of sexual harassment from its employee’s.