Our road to expansion was paved with good intentions – and lots of speedbumps. One of the most complicated: how to supply all of our stores with fresh-roasted coffee beans without building a roasting plant in every city.
We solved the problem in 1989 – by getting creative with our coffee packaging. We started using FlavorLock bags, which have a one-way valve that allows carbon dioxide released by the beans to escape without allowing flavor-robbing oxygen to get in. The technology had been our radar since the early 1980s – we'd used it for wholesale customers, packaging coffee into five-pound silver bags immediately after roasting to seal in flavor before they shipped – but by widening its use we were able to ship fresher-tasting coffee in a variety of quantities anywhere in the world.
Broadening our use of this innovation helped us grow and become more efficient. Now customers can experience freshly roasted coffee at Starbucks Roasteries around the world.