The Chicago Journal

Howard Schultz Tips Web3 Technology Inclusion for Starbucks’ Reward Program

According to CEO Howard Schultz, Starbucks will be making some changes to its rewards program – one of the most innovative ways for the company to retain customers.

Statement of Schulz

Howard Schultz recently announced that Web3 would be an integral part of the company.

“We have been working on a very exciting new digital initiative that builds on our existing industry-leading digital platform in innovative new ways,” said Schultz.

“All centered around coffee and – most importantly – loyalty.”

The disclosure arrived on Tuesday during Starbucks’ third quarter 2022 earnings call.

A unique experience

According to Schultz, Starbucks will unveil the new digital initiative on September 13 during its annual Seattle Investor Day. 

The initiative enables Starbucks to build on its current reward program. In addition, this relevant model introduces new ways to involve customers emotionally by broadening the digital community approach of third parties and offering a broader range of rewards.

Schultz shared that the rewards will include unique experiences and digital collection objects as a reward and community structure element.

“This will create an entirely new set of digital network effects that will attract new customers and be accretive to existing customers in our core retail stores,” he explained.


Employees are not very optimistic about the relationship of the coffee company with Web3 initiatives.

During a presentation about NFTS in May, an employee named Mark spoke against the plan regarding the environmental impact of NFTs.

“Blockchain, whether it’s proof of stake or proof of work, is not planet positive,” he said.

“It is going to destroy the planet… and it makes me, as a technologist, and I’m not the only one, very worried about that – that this company would go in that direction.”

“I don’t want to feel this way about Starbucks.”

Mark also pointed out that while NFTs are advertised as inclusive for people, they are more exclusive.

Starbucks and Blockchain

This won’t be the first time Starbucks has dipped into the blockchain scene, as they launched a bean-to-cup traceability project four years ago.

The project aims to support small farmers.

Whether customers, employees and investors will embrace the Web3 initiative remains to be seen, but Howard Schultz implemented it as part of a more extensive planned transformation for Starbucks.

“We are looking forward to fully showcasing the power and the opportunity of our reinvention plan,” he said.

Previous reward experience

The plans might not be too much for Starbucks Rewards members who talk about the program and its potential changes.

The last significant changes to the program were made in 2019, encouraging customers to air their grievances on social media.

The change means Starbucks is changing its star rating for free food and drink.

Since then, the rewards program has attracted over 10 million members; Each change affects several people.


Starbucks teases Web3 updates to its popular rewards program

Starbucks just teased changes to its rewards program