Market Hit: Leveraging Consumer Edge Data to Understand Starbucks (SBUX) Earnings Miss

Consumer Edge US Transaction data was predictive of Starbucks (SBUX) sales miss, as the coffee chain reported flat total sales growth, close to CE Implied Reported Growth of -.4% and below consensus estimates of +5%. SBUX management attributed the revenue miss to severe weather and a more cautious consumer – particularly the occasional customer. 

Starbucks Reported North America Sales vs. CE US Transact

North America Comparable Sales also missed expectations, coming in at -3%, close to CE Implied Reported same store sales of -4.3% and below consensus of +2.2%. Comparable sales weakness was driven by a sharp decline in transactions (down 7%), somewhat offset by price (up 4%). As a result of the miss, the stock was down -12% post-earnings. 

Starbucks Transaction Growth vs. Quick Service Snack & Beverage Subindustry

Starbucks is underperforming its peers in terms of transaction growth, showing that much of the weakness appears to be company specific. All peers showed transaction declines in January, likely due to severe US weather, but SBUX saw a muted recovery comparatively in February. In the month, Starbucks only accelerated 2.5% compared to top peer Dunkin’ Donuts and the Quick Service Snack/Beverage sub-industry which accelerated 6.5% and 3.5%, respectively. Starbucks March declines were slightly better, decelerating 3.2% compared to the sub-industry of 4.7%.

Its late quarter improvement could be due to the success of the new lavender drink platform, which launched late in the quarter. Management stated that the new platform is targeted at its occasional consumer and could help boost sales in this underperforming segment.


Consumer Edge is the leading provider of alternative data for consumer spending behavior, and the only provider of global revenue signals. If you’d like to benefit from using CE Transact US, CE Vision, or other products for Starbucks insights, restaurant data, and other industry data year-round to track trends and market hits like these, reach out to insights@consumer-edge.com.

About the Authors

Katherine Bjorkman is the Director of Insights for the CEIC. Explore more of her insights here and follow her on LinkedIn.

Greg Potter is a Financial Analyst for the CEIC. Explore more insights and follow him on LinkedIn.