SEATTLE, September 28, 2009 - Tomorrow, Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) launches its breakthrough Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew at all U.S. locations, expanding upon the company's coffee expertise and leadership. Starbucks VIA™ is 100 percent natural roasted arabica coffee in an instant form that is rich and full bodied just like a fresh-brewed cup of StarbucksÂ® coffee. Starbucks VIA™ is made with a proprietary, U.S. patent-pending microgrind technology to preserve the coffee's taste, quality and freshness.
"We believe Starbucks VIA™ will change the way people drink coffee and where they enjoy it. It took 20 years for us to create a coffee that delivers StarbucksÂ® coffee quality in an instant, and we're excited to make that available throughout the U.S. and Canada," said Starbucks chairman, president and ceo Howard Schultz. "We know that as more people try this product, more people will like it and adopt it into their daily routine so they will never be without great coffee. We're so confident that you won't be able to tell the difference between Starbucks VIA™ and our brewed coffee, we're inviting customers into our stores to see if they can tell the difference."
Starbucks VIA™ Taste Challenge
From Oct. 2 - 5, Starbucks invites customers to join the Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew Taste Challenge at their favorite U.S. Starbucks location. Participants can taste Colombia Starbucks VIA™ next to fresh-brewed Pike Place™ Roast and challenge themselves to guess which one is Starbucks VIA™. Starbucks VIA™ Taste Challenge participants will receive coupon for a complimentary Tall brewed coffee on their next visit as well as an offer for $1 off a Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew purchase.
Starbucks VIA™ Road Trip
Tomorrow's launch also marks the end of the Starbucks VIA™ Road Trip, featuring comedian Erin Foley, who traveled from coast-to-coast to preview Starbucks VIA™ with coffee lovers in the U.S. and Canada. The Starbucks VIA™ Road Trip kicked-off in Seattle on Sept. 15 and made official stops in Vancouver, Canada; Denver, Chicago, Boston and New York, along with many towns and sites in-between. The webisode series, featuring host Erin Foley and her sidekick Starbucks coffee master and member of the social media team Brad Nelson on their Starbucks VIA™-filled road trip adventure, is available at YouTube.com/Starbucks. StarbucksVia.com is also a source for the latest from the Starbucks VIA™ Road Trip. The trip will make its final stop tomorrow in Times Square where Starbucks CFO Troy Alstead will ring the NASDAQ opening bell to celebrate the arrival of Starbucks VIA™.
Breakthrough Instant Coffee
Made with a U.S. patent-pending technology and the highest-quality coffee beans sourced from 3 percent of the world's top coffee, Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew is 100 percent natural roasted arabica coffee. It can be made by adding hot (or cold) water which brews the coffee in an instant. With Starbucks VIA™ you can have a great cup of instant coffee that is rich and full bodied like a fresh-brewed cup of StarbucksÂ® coffee.
Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew is pre-portioned into single-serve packets and is packaged in books of three or boxes of 12. It is available in both StarbucksÂ® Italian Roast and StarbucksÂ® Colombia. The suggested retail price for the U.S. is $2.95 for a three pack and $9.95 for a 12 pack, making a great cup of StarbucksÂ® coffee available for less than $1 each.
Starbucks VIA Ready Brew was already voted "Most Innovative New Product of the Year" in the U.K. by Allegra Strategies1 and "Best New Consumer Product" by Progressive Grocer magazine in the U.S. These awards further establish Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew as a leader in the instant coffee market.
Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew in the Marketplace
Building upon the success of Starbucks VIA™ with its Foodservice partners, the high-quality instant brew will now be available through specialty outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), United Airlines US flights over two hours, Omni Hotels, and select Marriott locations. The convenience of Starbucks VIA™, coupled with the industry experience of Starbucks foodservice and grocery partners, will allow consumers to take a great cup of fresh-brewed coffee with them wherever they go.
"With a $21 billion global instant coffee business, and instant coffee representing 40 percent of overall global coffee sales, we believe Starbucks is uniquely positioned to capture a significant share of this market," said Schultz. "We believe there is tremendous opportunity to both grow the current instant coffee market as well as introduce consumers to an entirely new coffee occasion."
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at www.starbucks.com.
Pike Place is a trademark of the Pike Place Market PDA, used under license.