Starbucks, Flush With Customers, Is Running Low on Ingredients

Although most people are somewhat familiar with the problems of the global supply chain, some Starbucks customers are still puzzled — even annoyed — by their inability to get their coffee exactly the way they want it. . Others laugh at it.

“I was told they couldn’t give me an extra shot of caramel because there was a national shortage,” Nicole Brasier, a 24-year-old pharmacy student at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, said of ordering an iced caramel macchiato extra in late May. Caramel drizzle. “I just laughed and was like, ‘Isn’t caramel just burnt sugar?

The problem for Starbucks is that it wasn’t just selling a simple cup of coffee. For many, the experience of going to the chain is a self-indulgent treatment.

Customers learn language about sizes and specialty drinks and then share their customized, 12-ingredient drink orders on social media. Many people look forward to seasonal specials like this summer’s Unicorn Cake Pop and Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino, which are available for a limited time.

Bryant Simon, a history professor at Temple University and author of “Everything But the Coffee,” said orders are announced by name, not by number like other fast-food chains, suggesting that customers are friends or Starbucks is part of the club. : Learning about America from Starbucks.”

“Starbucks did something remarkable: taking a really simple product, coffee, and remaking it as an identifier of class, culture, conscience and wisdom,” said Mr. Simon. “Starbucks has a way of telling other people something about myself. While it’s gotten more complicated over time, that drink still says, ‘I deserve a break in my life. I waste money on coffee’ I can.'”

There were earlier indications that there could be an escalating supply problem for Starbucks. In a late April call with Wall Street analysts, Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson expressed some concern about companies that were part of its supply chain struggling to keep hiring the workers they needed. was doing

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