Starbucks: Turf invasion by McDonalds

The Boston Globe writes about the newest competitive threat to Starbucks: the McCafe. The problem with shifting your product mix from premium coffees to candy milk drinks isn’t just that you lose your soul in the process. It’s that it is so much easier for other players to imitate you and horn in on your turf.

Because, really, could you imagine Dunkin and McDonalds imitating really good high quality coffee? But it’s really easy for them to steam some milk, dump in some flavored corn syrup, and call it a latté.

Howard Schultz is right: once you take that first step, it’s a long slippery slope down to slinging fast food with everyone else.