SEATTLE, August 17, 2010 - Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) today announced that the Philippines will be the fourth market to offer Starbucks VIAÂ® Ready Brew. Starting mid-September, all Starbucks stores in the Philippines will carry Starbucks VIAÂ® Ready Brew in Colombia, Italian Roast and Decaffeinated Italian Roast.
"We know there is a significant opportunity in the Philippines marketplace for Starbucks VIAÂ® Ready Brew since nearly 100 percent of retail coffee sales come from instant coffee*," said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and ceo, Starbucks Coffee Company. "We know rapid innovation for Starbucks VIAÂ® and creating opportunities to further increase awareness and trial of Starbucks VIAÂ® broadens our overall customer base both in the U.S. and in international markets."
Starbucks opened its first store in Makati City, Philippines through a licensing agreement with Rustan Coffee Corporation in December 1997. Today, there are more than 160 stores throughout the Philippines, and Starbucks growth has played a key role in building a strong local coffee culture in the country.
The Philippines will join Japan as the second country in Asia to offer Starbucks VIAÂ® Ready Brew. Starbucks Japan launched Starbucks VIAÂ® last April to rave reviews. More than 10 million sticks have already been sold in Starbucks stores throughout Japan, with distribution expansion plans set for September as VIAÂ® enters grocery and trade channels.
As a premium-portion stick coffee solution that doesn't require any special equipment, Starbucks VIAÂ® is resonating with consumers and meeting untapped demand.
Starbucks recently announced VIAÂ® had reached the USD $100 million mark in sales within the first 10 months of availability to consumers. According to SymphonyIRI Group, U.S. products that generate in excess of $50 million in first-year sales are recognized with a "mega hit" benchmark status. Starbucks VIAÂ® is among the top 3 percent of all new products launched, with sales well in excess of the $50 million threshold as defined by SymphonyIRI.
By expanding the product line beyond Colombia and Italian Roast varieties and into new channels, innovation around the Starbucks VIAÂ® platform remains a priority for the company. Starbucks VIAÂ® Ready Brew Decaffeinated Italian Roast launched last November, and Starbucks VIAÂ® Ready Brew Iced Coffee launched in late June; both representing the beginning of the Starbucks VIAÂ® innovation pipeline.
Starbucks VIAÂ® Ready Brew is made from 100 percent natural roasted arabica coffee in an instant and microground form that is rich and full bodied in flavor, just like a fresh-brewed cup of StarbucksÂ® coffee. Starbucks VIAÂ® is made with a proprietary, U.S. patent-pending technology to preserve the coffee's flavor.
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 starbucks.com.
*Source: Euromonitor, July 4, 2010