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Starbucks Food Menu: Out With the New, In With the Old

The customer is always right!

Starbucks' plan to boost food sales with a new menu of cakes and doughnuts may have been a little half-baked. The coffee-chain found that a majority of its customers liked the food better before, prompting a retooling of its offerings.

Now, due to popular demand, it's bringing back some old favorites that were kicked off the menu as a result of its $100 million acquisition of La Boulange, a gourmet baking company.

”We've got a few products that we are going to bring back from the old menu," Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead told Bloomberg News. "Some customers missed a few things."

Starting this week, the company will reintroduce old favorites like slices of banana, pumpkin and iced-lemon loaf cakes to its stores. Starbucks will be using new La Boulange recipes to create food that more closely resembles its previous fare.

Designing a perfect menu is crucial to Starbucks’ U.S. growth strategy. In a cluttered coffee market, the company is trying to encourage more customers to add a pastry or croissant to their latte orders. Starbucks also faces fierce breakfast competition from fast food chains McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King, who are also trying to dominate morning sales.

For Starbucks, the challenge is providing a much classier eating experience in comparison to the typical fast food outlet. Fans of the old Starbucks food have complained that the new pastries are too expensive and small. Since the chain began introducing La Boulange’s line of baked goods across the U.S., customers have taken to Twitter and Yelp to air their grievances.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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