Retailers, consumers and prices
Starbucks adds spice to Via
Starbucks is expanding its Via instant coffee line this autumn with cinnamon spice, vanilla, mocha and caramel flavors.
The move comes on the heels of the Seattle company’s rollout of Natural Fusions, a line of flavored ground coffees, at U.S. grocery stores this summer.
Starbucks for years avoided selling flavored brews, leaving the niche to its more mainstream Seattle’s Best Coffee brand. But it changed that high-brow stance when the U.S. economy hit the skids and consumers started saving money by drinking more home-brewed java.
The world’s biggest coffee chain is focused on growth following a restructuring that slashed costs and shuttered hundreds of mostly new, but poorly performing stores. It hopes to boost profits by introducing products — like flavored coffee — that appeal to a broader range of consumers and expanding its reach beyond its cafe walls by selling more products at grocery stores and other retail outlets.
Flavored Via and Natural Fusions are key to making those strategies work.
“We know 60 percent of our customers drink coffee with flavor, and now they will have access to high-quality arabica coffees with natural flavors as only Starbucks can deliver,” Annie Young-Scrivner, Starbucks chief marketing officer said in a statement.
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(Reuters photo of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz)