No, Starbucks isn't rebranding to 'Vista Coffee' to avoid boycott

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
January 19 2024

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No, Starbucks isn't rebranding to 'Vista Coffee' to avoid boycott

Screenshots of the claim Starbucks is rebranding to 'Vista Coffee' to avoid boycotts. (Source: Facebook/Wikimedia Commons/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

Starbucks did not rebrand to "Vista Coffee" to avoid boycott. One outlet at Dublin Airport was replaced by this store after Starbucks' lease expired.

Claim ID 5d87caae

Starbucks, a multinational chain of coffeehouses and roastery reserves based in the U.S., has recently faced multiple boycotts. These boycotts stem from controversies regarding the company's stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict in the Middle East and its approach to unionization efforts within its U.S. stores. The situation escalated when Starbucks filed a lawsuit against Workers United, the union organizing its employees, in response to the union's posting of a pro-Palestinian message on social media.

What's the claim?

In early January 2024, a series of viral social media posts claimed that Starbucks outlets, including one at Dublin Airport, had been rebranded to "Vista Coffee." This change, the posts claimed, was to mislead customers amid the ongoing boycott.

Images shared on social media showed a café in Dublin Airport bearing the "Vista Coffee" name. Observers noted that, despite the name change, some signage retained Starbucks branding, and menus reportedly continued to feature Starbucks drinks.

One post, which included images of the café, suggested that the shop was a rebranded Starbucks, designed to avoid the boycott. This post encouraged viewers to zoom in for evidence and featured hashtags like #BoycottIsraelProducts and #BoycottStarbucks. Many posts also referenced a January 4 announcement by Dublin Airport introducing Vista Coffee in Terminal 1.

Archived versions of such posts can be accessed here and here.

Screenshots of the viral Facebook posts. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

Another Instagram post featured a video with a text overlay making the same claim. It included text reading, "It's begun at Dublin Airport already!" and showed the Dublin Airport's announcement of the new coffee outlet. The video emphasized, "STARBUCKS HAD TO REBRAND TO VISTA COFFEE AT DUBLIN AIRPORT BUT FORGOT ONE THING." It also showed menu screens in the outlet with "YOUR STARBUCKS FAVOURITES." An archived version of the post can be accessed here.

However, contrary to these claims, Starbucks has not changed its branding or name to avoid the boycott.

What we found out

On January 4, Dublin Airport announced on X (formerly Twitter) the introduction of "Vista Coffee" at Terminal 1, replacing a former Starbucks outlet. The following day, they clarified the claims about Starbucks' purported rebranding. The airport stated that Vista is a temporary brand, operated by a provider using Starbucks products, following Starbucks' closure in December when their contract expired.

(Source: X)

In January 2024, Dublin Airport announced a major upgrade in terminals 1 and 2, introducing over 20 new bars, cafes, and restaurants. The release mentioned Bluebird Coffee Roasters and Wine Bar as the replacement for the former Starbucks outlet, which closed in December.

Logically Facts contacted Starbucks regarding the alleged rebranding to Vista. Their spokesperson responded: "We regularly review our portfolio to ensure our stores are in places that are relevant for our customers while also maintaining healthy business growth. We can confirm the Starbucks store in Dublin Airport closed on December 31 when our lease expired." They added that "three Starbucks locations" at Dublin Airport "remain open."

On reviewing Dublin Airport's 'Cafés & Restaurants' list on its website, which provides a comprehensive list of eateries within the departure and arrival terminals, we found that the three Starbucks outlets are still featured on the site. 

Screenshot of Starbucks locations displayed on Dublin Airport's official website. (Source: Dublin Airport)

Vista Coffee, located in Terminal 1 Departures Level after security, is also listed separately on the site.

Screenshot showing details of Vista Coffee outlet on Dublin Airport's official website. (Source: Dublin Airport)

Logically Facts also contacted Kevin Cullinane, Group Head of Communications at Dublin Airport Central. Cullinane confirmed, "The Starbucks outlet in Terminal 1 closed at the end of December when their contract ended." He added that a new operator has temporarily launched the unit under the Vista brand, utilizing Starbucks' fixtures and products. He emphasized this was a part of a broader revamp in Terminals 1 and 2.

Cullinane also mentioned that a separate Starbucks outlet continues to operate landside in Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport. 

Furthermore, Graeme McQueen, Media Relations Manager at Dublin Airport, provided images of the functional Starbucks outlet in Terminal 1. These images, taken on January 17, displayed the Starbucks name on the exterior of the outlet.

Photographs showcasing another Starbucks outlet currently in operation at Terminal 1 in Dublin Airport, provided to Logically Facts by an official from Dublin Airport. (Source: Graeme McQueen, Media Relations Manager at Dublin Airport.)

Logically Facts also inquired about the termination of Starbucks' contract at Dublin Airport and any relation to events concerning Israel. Cullinane clarified, "There is no connection with global events. The contract's end and new commercial plans for the unit are coincidental to Middle East events."

Thus, there has been no rebranding of Starbucks to Vista Coffee at Dublin Airport. The change is due to the lease expiration and commercial decisions, not geopolitical reasons. Starbucks is not operating under the guise of ‘Vista Coffee'.

It's not uncommon for vendors other than Starbucks to offer the company's coffee. Starbucks products are available through the "We Proudly Serve Starbucks Coffee Program." Logically Facts has asked Starbucks to comment on the deal with Vista Coffee selling its products. The story will be updated if a response is received.

The verdict

Following Starbucks' contract expiration, a former outlet in Dublin Airport was repurposed into "Vista Coffee." It's important to note that Starbucks and Vista Coffee are separate entities, and this change is temporary and specific to this location. There is no global rebranding of Starbucks to Vista Coffee. Additionally, three Starbucks outlets within Dublin Airport continue to operate under the Starbucks brand. Thus, we have marked this claim as false.

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