6 Facts About Starbucks That Will Blow Your Mind

Most people already know that Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX  ) is taking over the universe. With more than 19,000 stores in 62 countries, hardly anyone has not heard of the coffee giant. Here are six facts about this amazing company that will blow your mind.

(1) There are three Starbucks on the same Houston street corner
There are three Starbucks locations at the corner of Shepherd and West Gray in Houston: one regular location, one drive-through location, and one location inside the Barnes & Noble behind the regular Starbucks location. Such extreme concentration comes as a result of the company's rapid expansion, which has put a Starbucks within 20 miles of 80% of Americans.

(2) The average Starbucks customer visits the store six times per month. The most loyal 20% of customers visit 16 times per month
Starbucks' customers tend to be Starbucks addicts -- and the company's loyalty- rewards program feeds that addiction. The program rewards frequent buyers with discounts, free refills, and other perks that keeps them coming back for more. Customer retention cuts down on the company's marketing expense, which enables Starbucks to fund more growth in new markets.

(3) Starbucks claims to offer more than 87,000 possible drink combinations
As the Wall Street Journal points out, the math on this one is kind of fuzzy. Whatever the actual number of possible combinations, customers certainly have many choices when it comes to a drink at Starbucks.

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) customers, on the other hand, can only choose from 14 coffee-based McCafe drinks and have few options for customization. This has furthered McDonald's image as the cheap and low-quality alternative to Starbucks -- not adjectives that describe the kind of drink that the typical Starbucks customer desires.

(4) Starbucks' banana walnut bread has more calories than a McDonald's quarter-pounder
McDonald's does not have a monopoly on fattening foods. Starbucks sells a variety of high-carbohydrate snacks, many of which have more calories than McDonald's menu items. Starbucks' banana walnut bread has 490 calories -- almost twice the number of calories in a McDonald's quarter-pound hamburger.

(5) Starbucks coffee contains more than twice the caffeine of a Monster Energy drink
Monster Beverage (NASDAQ: MNST  ) gets a bad rap for the amount of caffeine it puts in its drinks, but it is nothing compared to the jolt given by the typical Starbucks coffee. A Starbucks Grande Clover Brewed coffee contains 330 mg of caffeine -- twice the amount found in a Monster Energy drink.

Although Starbucks coffee is loaded with caffeine, which is known to have harmful side effects when consumed regularly at high doses, it still may not be as unhealthy as a Monster Energy drink. Nobody is known to have died as a result of drinking Starbucks coffee, but there is speculation that Monster Energy and other caffeinated energy drinks are to blame for a handful of deaths over the last decade.

Regardless of whether or not Monster is actually more harmful than a typical Starbucks coffee, the energy-drink company has to fight wave after wave of negative publicity surrounding its products' health risks -- a controversy that has not yet touched Starbucks.

(6) Starbucks uses more than 4 billion paper cups per year
Starbucks uses so many paper cups per year that it decided to organize "Cup Summits." The initiative brings together government officials, paper cup producers, and other businesses that use or supply paper cups in an effort to find ways to recycle the cups and reduce their environmental impact.

Bottom line
The facts above are evidence of a thriving business that has created enormous value for its customers, employees, and shareholders and will continue doing so for years to come. All stakeholders will be rewarded if the company can complete its quest to conquer the universe.

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