LONDON, March 27, 2009 - This week marks the initial launch of Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew into select London Starbucks coffeehouses.
First day sales of the product launch illustrated the need for innovation in the $17 billion coffee category. Sampling activity, advertising and point-of-sale materials created a buzz around the launch with customers responding overwhelmingly positively to the new product. Demand for Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew peaked particularly in the Heathrow coffeehouses.
Howard Schultz visited participating coffeehouses to see the launch take place, a significant breakthrough for Starbucks that has been 20 years in development. Schultz commented on his visit, "I am thankful our UK customers are excited about this game-changing innovation from Starbucks. With over 80 percent of people in the UK drinking instant coffee, we want to provide the best-tasting, highest quality coffee in a format that matches their lifestyle."
The UK launch follows the successful roll-out of the instant coffee in key US markets, Chicago and Seattle.
Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew is now available in 32 Starbucks coffeehouses in West London. Portioned into single-serve packets, Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew is sold in packs of three or twelve and is available in two flavors - bold, nutty Columbia and smooth, rich Italian Roast. The suggested retail price for the UK will be £1.20 for three and £3.95 for twelve, making a great cup of Starbucks coffee for 40 pence or less. Look for broader UK distribution in early 2010.