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Green Mountain Scaled by Starbucks in Single-Serve Coffee Battle

Posted by Dale Buss on September 20, 2012 10:01 AM

Green Mountain Coffee is in a pot of trouble. And that's even before Starbucks introduces Verismo, its own single-serve brewing system for consumers that's rolling out in October (and already available on Verismo.com), to challenge the iconic K-Cup system by Green Mountain that features its Keurig pods. 

The brand has been a darling of consumers for several years, on a continued growth tear as K-Cups led a revolution in how Americans consume much of their coffee by making the single-serve system de rigeur in homes and offices. The company fed strong double-digit sales growth by continuing to proliferate the types of pods, to include "iced" drinks and juices as well as coffees and teas.

Green Mountain also had been a darling of investors seeking to cash in on a boom that, for the six years after the Vermont-based company acquired Keurig, managed to thrive without attracting the competitive interest of Starbucks.Continue reading...

sip on this

Starbucks Introduces Low-Cal, "Real Fruit" Refreshers Drinks With Friday Freebie

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 9, 2012 11:31 PM

Will Starbucks customers give a cold shoulder to the company's new iline of green coffee Refreshers drinks? Hopefully they'll get a better reception than the VIA instant beverage mix that was panned when it launched in 2010, and which resurfaces with a new twist here.

The fruit-flavored iced coffee beverages, produced with unroasted green arabica beans, are rolling out in the U.S. and Canada on July 10th, with a global rollout to follow.

According to the Huffington Post, "The drink line will be offered in three formats: handcrafted (made by baristas), ready to drink and VIA. VIA is Starbucks' newest drink format, brought to market three years ago, and is best described as a microground product that dissolves when emptied into water."

The Refreshers sub-brand page states that all three are made with green coffee extract as their base for a "boost of natural energy" and are made with either "real fruit" or "real fruit juice":Continue reading...

sip on this

Starbucks Grinds Out New Territory with Its Own Single-Cup Coffee Maker

Posted by Dale Buss on March 9, 2012 12:33 PM

Talk about vertical integration! Starbucks is taking the concept to new heights — er, depths — with its announcement of the imminent introduction of its own machine to make single cups of coffee.

The product, named Verismo, will be launched soon and sold at some Starbucks stores as well as specialty retail locations right away and then more heavily marketed and sold in the fall. The machine was developed with Krueger, a German-based company, and it "combines Starbucks signature Espresso Roast and drink recipes with precise Swiss engineering and a patent-pending high pressure extraction capability," Starbucks said in a press release.

The move is yet another bid by Starbucks to broaden and deepen its franchise over the last couple of years. The company also today, in Amsterdam, was scheduled to open its first "concept shop" laboratory meant to imbue its retail outlets with more "local flavor." Inspired by concept stores in its hometown of Seattle, the new Amsterdam store features in-house-baked cookies, for instance, and will test other ideas. It's housed in an old bank vault in the city's historic Rembrandt square.Continue reading...

sip on this

Questions Swirl Around Starbucks's VIA Brand

Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 20, 2010 12:00 PM

Yesterday we noted Starbucks's aggressive plans to move brands from its own stores onto supermarket shelves. Now a report by Reuters questions whether the company has crossed the line when it comes to sales of its VIA instant coffee brand.

It does appear that Via, which was introduced last September, is doing well — but part of the reason may be due to in-store sampling (read: freebies).

Tyler Swain, a Starbucks barista in Omaha, Nebraska told the Times that "his store is under intense pressure from its district manager to deliver VIA sales." He said he is told to give out complimentary drinks in an effort to get customers to buy the VIA product while they are in the store.

This leads to some confusion between barista-brewed beverage sales and packaged VIA sales at the register. Starbucksgossip.com confirmed those fears.Continue reading...

follow the money

Will Starbucks Find Itself In 2010?

Posted by Sara Zucker on January 14, 2010 10:15 AM

An identity complex is never fun – especially if you are a brand. The past year was a particularly difficult time for Starbucks. It very publically explored its own soul, its past, its future, and in the process launched an instant coffee and a nostalgic blend of beans. After some intense psychotherapy, Starbucks came to this conclusion: It’s my parent’s fault.

Indeed, the once invincible brand determined that the best way to reinvigorate its image was to begin anew by rebelling against the past that gave birth to it.Continue reading...

stake your turf

Will China Embrace Starbucks' Growth?

Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 25, 2009 04:09 PM

The sun never sets on the Starbucks Empire.

Starbucks has its sights set on China. The ambitious roaster has plans to make the Communist republic its second home, with the potential for a thousand stores.

Starbucks' current presence is more limited, with only 306 stores in mainland China. But hopes for growth are allayed by strong 2009 sales, reportedly double their 2008 earnings.Continue reading...

Nescafe Calls Starbucks' Instant Coffee Bluff

Posted by Peter Feld on November 19, 2009 06:12 PM

It's got to sting when you go slumming, only to have the slum-dwellers tell you that you don't measure up.

To review: under pressure from Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's, and with its brand value in decline, Starbucks introduced Via instant coffee with an in-store taste-test promotion intended to prove that the new instant can't be told apart from the store brew. Not the best way to maintain a brand that was built upon premium-quality coffee and the idea that Starbucks stores are America's "third place" (after home and work), we thought.

Starbucks demolished Nescafé in the '90s. Why would they now want to copy them?

Nescafé had the exact same idea, it seems. En route to brandchannel HQ this morning, we saw Nescafé workers (happy to pose with their banner) setting up a sampling station for a taste test of their own. Their graphic contrasts an unbranded, but clearly Starbucks-looking paper cup of instant (over a package that uses the Via colors) with a ceramic mug featuring the updated Nescafé logo above a Taster's Choice package. The copy reads: "A lot of hype. OR a lot of flavor."Continue reading...

brand extensions

Starbucks' Newest At-Home Brand: The T-Disc

Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 18, 2009 06:20 PM

Starbucks wants to KO the K-cup.

Only six weeks after its vigorous launch of Via instant coffee, Starbucks has announced a new at-home brewing option in partnership with Bosch and the Tassimo beverage machine: T-Discs, available online starting today and in stores Dec. 1, adding two flavors: Starbucks Latte Primo and Starbucks Cappuccino Primo. The T-Discs have been available in Europe since March.

Starbucks promises consumers the same level of quality as the in-store experience, thanks to the Tassimo machine’s ability to read “each encoded disc and adjusts the temperature, brewing time and amount of water to guarantee a great latte or cappuccino.” The retail price for a package of eight beverages is $10.99.Continue reading...

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