Autumn is upon us, which means the return of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s also Ramadan, and for its customers in the Middle East, Starbucks has created a new drink it hopes becomes a Ramadan tradition — the Date Frappuccino.
It would seem like a real blunder, maybe even cultural insensitivity, for Starbucks to market a new food product just for the month of Ramadan — the month Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. But Starbucks executives seem to think this caffeinated version of “think globally, act locally” strikes the right marketing balance.
Starbucks, now with 200 stores in the Middle East (mostly in oil-rich Gulf countries), has operated in the region since 1999 with the help of a trading partnership from the region. MH Alshaya, a Kuwaiti-owned retail specialist company, has also helped H&M, The Body Shop and Foot Locker become established throughout the Middle East.
Starbucks Middle East Marketing Manager Antoun Abou Jaoude emphasized the company’s intention in this release. “The new Date Frappuccino reflects a beverage that has been created for the first time specifically for our Middle East customers and we hope it is enjoyed throughout Ramadan,” he said.Read more: Starbucks