Industry News | October 12, 2011

Starbucks Adds House, Breakfast Blends to VIA Line

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Marking the two-year anniversary of the Starbucks VIA product line, the company announced the availability of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew in House Blend and Breakfast Blend at select grocery stores across the U.S. The introduction of the new instant coffee varieties further reinforces Starbucks global coffee leadership and its commitment to offering customers high-quality coffee wherever they go.

“Starbucks VIA Ready Brew in House Blend and Breakfast Blend are our top selling coffees and we are pleased to bring customers the same great quality and taste in a single premium cup,” says Jeff Hansberry, president of Channel Development. “When we first brought Starbucks VIA to the coffee aisle in grocery, customer reaction was immediately positive. Based on quick adoption and high repeat sales rates, we continue to expand the portfolio.”

Both Starbucks VIA House Blend and Breakfast Blend are made using 100 percent high-quality arabica beans that deliver the flavor expected from a cup of Starbucks coffee. As a convenient and easy option for a fresh-brewed cup of Starbuckscoffee at home or on-the-go, Starbucks VIA House Blend and Breakfast Blend are available in pre-portioned single-serve packets; just add hot water. The suggested retail price is $7.99 (U.S.) for an eight pack, making a cup of Starbucks coffee available for less than $1 each.

Starbucks House Blend is a signature coffee blend with its balance, flavor, body, and acidity neatly combining so that no single characteristic dominates, and creating a vibrant and clean cup of coffee that is distinctively Starbucks. Light-bodied and lighter roasted, Starbucks Breakfast Blend is made with Latin American coffee beans. The mild, clean flavor sparkles upon taste with high acidity and finishes with a palate-cleansing tanginess for a fresh start to the morning.

Starbucks also announced the return of the Starbucks VIA Taste Promise, encouraging coffee drinkers to discover the great taste of Starbucks VIAReady Brew. Now through December 31, if customers are not satisfied with the taste of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, Starbucks will send them a free 12-ounce bag of ground Starbucks House Blend. The Starbucks VIA Taste Promise stands by Starbucks belief that, with Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, customers can enjoy a great premium single cup of instant coffee on the go.

Within two years, Starbucks VIA Ready Brew has redefined and reenergized the $22 billion instant coffee category. Today’s announcement marks the 12th Starbucks VIA product in the portfolio, which has expanded the product line beyond the original Starbucks VIA Colombia and Starbucks VIA Italian varieties to include Starbucks VIA Decaffeinated Italian Roast, Starbucks VIA French Roast, Starbucks VIA Iced Coffees and Starbucks VIA Flavored Coffees as well as Starbucks VIA Christmas Blend and Starbucks VIA Tribute Blend seasonal offerings. Starbucks VIA Ready Brew is available in more than 70,000 points of distribution globally and reinforces the company’s view that Starbucks VIA will become another $1 billion Starbucks brand over time. Since its launch in September 2009, Starbucks VIA has surpassed the $200 million mark in global sales (as of March 2011).

In September, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Australia joined Canada, China, Japan, the Philippines, the U.K., and the U.S. in offering Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, effectively doubling the number of countries where Starbucks VIA is available.