New planners, holiday drinks: Starbucks PH continues Christmas tradition amid pandemic

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 03 2020 11:52 AM

MANILA -- Starbucks Philippines hopes to offer a respite from the challenges brought about by the novel coronavirus pandemic as it continues its sticker-collecting tradition for planners, along with other holiday offerings. 

The coffee chain recently unveiled its four country-exclusive designs, carrying the global theme of "Carry the Merry" as it encourages customers to look forward to a "brighter" year ahead. 

These include two standard planners and two organizers, the latter including a multi-functional carrier.

"Starbucks is here as a respite, but that is secondary to everyone's safety," said Keith Cole, Starbucks Philippines' head of marketing and category, said during a recent virtual briefing. "We're here to elevate and bring a little bit of joy to our customers."

New planners, holiday drinks: Starbucks PH continues Christmas tradition amid pandemic 1
The four Philippine-exclusive Starbucks planners for 2021. Handout

When asked by ABS-CBN News about the biggest challenge that Starbucks has faced amid the pandemic, Cole said it is "balancing safety while still fulfilling the needs of the organization and our business."

"I think we've done a fantastic job with our protocols," he said, citing their efforts to comply with government guidelines. "And we're overwhelmed by the warm response we're received from our customers." 

Aside from the planners, Starbucks Philippines has also launched a set of Christmas beverages and treats, which are a combination of new and returning items, as well as holiday-themed merchandise. 

Cole said the pandemic has changed the habits of Filipino customers as they see a shift toward delivery orders, but also observed that more are beginning to miss interactions with baristas, which form part of the coffee chain experience. 

"Our stores have less people in them... What we see early on is people are migrating to experiences from in-store to home. But as the government relaxes conditions and regulations, we are seeing customers returning to our stores," he said.

"We have slowly reopened our stores throughout the country, and the warm reception we are seeing and hearing from our customers is both humbling and heartfelt," he went on. "I believe our customers miss the warm connection that they have with the brand, our stores, and also their favorite handcrafted beverages."

New planners, holiday drinks: Starbucks PH continues Christmas tradition amid pandemic 2
Handout

Starbucks kicked off the sticker collecting tradition this Tuesday, November 3, with the promo running until January 4 of next year.

A total of 18 stickers, each given for a purchase of a Starbucks beverage, need to be collected to get any of the new items.

Jo-Ann Ramos, Starbucks Philippines marketing manager, reminded the public that paper and digital stickers may not be combined for the promo.