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Starbucks’ primary target market is men and women ages 25 to 40. They account for nearly half (49 percent) of its total business. Starbucks appeals to this age group of consumers through contemporary design that is consistent in its advertising and decor, and works to keep its current products as status symbols. Clients tend to be urban with relatively high incomes, professional careers, and a focus on social welfare. This audience is growing at a rate of 3 percent per year.
Young adults, ages 18-24, account for a total of 40 percent of Starbucks sales. Starbucks positions itself as a place where college students can hang out, study, write class assignments, and meet people. Starbucks appeals to this consumer directly through the introduction of available technology, focusing on social networking, and actively cultivating a “cool” image. The young adult audience grows 4.6 percent each year.
Children and adolescents
Children and teens are also a large part of Starbucks’ target audience. Together, customers ages 13-17 account for only 2 percent of Starbucks sales, but the majority of children’s items are purchased by parents. Whether the focus is on the steamed milk that Starbucks baristas refer to as “babyccinos” (Cappuccino for babies) or on the sugar, caffeine, and whipped cream that topped the coffee drinks that are so popular with teens, kids and teens constitute a important part of the Starbucks business. Children go there with their parents; mother and child leave with cup in hand. Teens meanwhile use Starbucks as a place to hang out with friends or study.
Specialty coffee beverages account for about 75 percent of Starbucks sales, but an increasing amount of its business is focused on selling whole bean coffee and merchandise. Starbucks has made its coffees available for purchase online, at select supermarkets and outlets by offering the ability to bring the Starbucks family of coffee, including the Starbucks brand, VIA Best Starbucks and Seattle. These products offer consumers the opportunity to have the “Starbucks” experience at home, and it is an area that Starbucks is pushing.