Retailers, consumers and prices
Dump the Sanka, seize the Starbucks Via?
Now that Starbucks is in the instant coffee business, will you mix up a cup?
CEO Howard Schultz wants to introduce Americans to Via — the company’s own instant brew — and he promises it is better than that jarred stuff your parents drink. It’s so good, he says, that it will help the slumping company grab a share of the $17 billion global instant coffee market now dominated by brands like Sanka and Nescafe.
“The reason why instant has such a bad name is that it doesn’t taste very good. It’s not fresh coffee, it’s usually chemically treated,” said Schultz, who added that Via replicates the taste of Starbucks brewed coffee.
Before the product even hit shelves, critics were opining on Starbucksgossip.com.
BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL said: “To the ‘instant-coffee consumer’ that is appears Howard is reaching out to, $1 a cup is way too expensive. To the ‘Starbuck’s Snobby Consumer’ instant coffee is a no-go. So who is going to buy this stuff? Roughly the same number of people who consistently buy freeze-dried entrees for their mountaineering adventures. The ‘Premium’ instant coffee market is anything but $17B.”
Will you seize the Via the next time you reach for a brew?