Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Global Expansion Begins with U.K. and Japan

SEATTLE, March 03, 2010 - Six months after Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) introduced Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew in the U.S. and Canada the Company announced today it will launch Starbucks VIA® throughout Company-operated and licensed locations in the U.K. on March 8 and Japan on April 14. Customers in the U.S. and Canada have embraced this new product offering, and have become repeat purchasers as they discover that Starbucks quality coffee can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere. Building on this momentum, the company continues to expand Starbucks VIA® into grocery, mass and drug accounts in the U.S. and expects distribution to double to 30,000 locations by the end of the third quarter of Fiscal 2010.

"Starbucks VIA® continues to excite customers and represents a significant opportunity for the company to expand our reach through a broadened coffee portfolio," said Starbucks chairman, president and ceo Howard Schultz. "Consumers have quickly adopted Starbucks VIA® as their coffee while on the go. Whether it is brewed as a single cup before leaving the house, while traveling, or at the office, customers have found it is a convenient solution."

Global Expansion Begins with U.K. and Japan

The nationwide U.K. launch of Starbucks VIA® on Monday, March 8, builds on the successful pilot in London and will introduce the U.K.'s 31 million coffee drinkersi to a high-quality instant and microground coffee. This launch comes on the heels of a successful local-market trial conducted in London; recognition in a survey by Allegra Strategies which voted Starbucks VIA® as the "Most Innovative New Product" in 2009; and the availability of Starbucks VIA® on all easyJet routes in early 2010.

Also this week, Starbucks Coffee Japan met with media, shareholders and partners (employees) to reveal that Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew will be available in all of Japan's 870 Starbucks stores on April 14 under the name Starbucks VIA® Coffee Essence. The introduction of Starbucks VIA® Coffee Essence provides Starbucks the opportunity to create a new premium category in the Japanese home-use coffee market.

In its first year, Starbucks VIA® has helped Starbucks claim a larger piece of the overall global coffee market. Instant coffee makes up a majority of coffee purchases in many of the international markets where Starbucks has a retail presence, and represents 63 percent of total coffee sold in Japan and more than 80 percent of coffee drunk at home in the U.K. Together, these two markets account for more than $4 billion in instant coffee retail sales annually.ii Globally, instant coffee represents 40 percent of coffee sales, which translates into an annualized $21 billion and growing market.

Innovation and Expansion Continue in the U.S. and Canada

On March 9, Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew Decaffeinated Italian Roast will be available in Starbucks stores throughout Canada. It was introduced in the U.S. market late last year in response to customer requests. Starbucks VIA® is now available through more than 15,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada, including Company-operated and licensed locations, Costco, Target, REI, Omni Hotels & Resorts and online at,, and Additional channels are planned in the coming year.

Recognition for Online Sales and Product Review

Backpacker magazine recently named Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew as a recipient of the 2010 "Editors' Choice Award." Given annually to products in recognition of their outstanding innovation in design, materials and performance, the Editors' Choice Award honors the best new gear and essentials for outdoor enthusiasts. In keeping with the belief that one should never be without great coffee, editors of Backpacker recently tackled the Swiss Alps with Starbucks VIA® in their packs. Even on a strenuous and remote 100-mile route, editors were able to enjoy the same high-quality Starbucks® coffee found in a Starbucks store. Backpacker Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Dorn and his staff of editors and testers presented the award to Starbucks on January 21 at the annual Outdoor Retail Winter Market in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In addition, recognized Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew as one of the top-selling products of the 2009 holiday season; this recognition is based on sales performance and customer satisfaction.

iUK National Statistics 2007

iiEuromonitor from trade sources/national statistics 2009


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