Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2008

Starbucks Coffee Company in the 21st Century

by Nancy F. Koehn, Marya Lisl Hill-Popper Besharov and Katherine Miller


The case explores the opportunities and challenges confronting Starbucks in the early 21st century. For more than 15 years, Starbucks has grown swiftly and successfully, helping create a large, dynamic market for specialty coffee, building one of the world's most powerful brands and forging a new business model based on industry disrepair and responsible global citizenship. In 2008, Starbucks leadership faces a range of issues-inside and out of the company-related to that success. This case examines these issues in the context of a changing economy, increased competition, evolving consumer priorities, and the organization's place on the larger global stage.

Keywords: Business Model; Economy; Growth Management; Brands and Branding; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Competition;


Koehn, Nancy F., Marya Lisl Hill-Popper Besharov, and Katherine Miller. "Starbucks Coffee Company in the 21st Century." Harvard Business School Case 808-019, June 2008.