Beverage Industry

Starbucks expands Via Ready Brew into retail outlets

May 4, 2010

Starbucks, Seattle, expanded distribution of Via Ready Brew coffee to grocery, mass merchandise outlets and drug stores across the country and introduced However-You-Want-It Frappuccino blended beverages in its stores.

Similar to Starbucks’ customizable espresso beverages, customers in the United States and Canada can choose from a variety of fresh milk or soy milk, choose the intensity of their coffee and pick any combination of syrups or toppings for their Frappuccino. The new platform allows customers to select low-calorie, low-fat, dairy-free or indulgent Frappuccinos, the company said.

In addition, Starbucks announced it will expand the distribution of Via Ready Brew. Via will be available in 25,000 retail locations, including Kroger, Wal-Mart, Safeway, Target, Costco and CVS by the end of June. The new outlets combine with the 12,000 retail and foodservice locations that have stocked Via since its launch in September.

“This marks a significant milestone for Starbucks as we meet customers where they are looking for great coffee; in our stores and on the shelves where groceries are sold,” said  Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “We know people are looking for products that will make their lives easier and Starbucks Via is exceeding our expectations in customer adoption and performance and will soon be conveniently available in 37,000 locations across the country.”

Starbucks Via Ready Brew is 100 percent natural roasted Arabica coffee that is made with a proprietary U.S. patent-pending microground technology to preserve the coffee’s taste and quality. Via is available in Colombia and Italian Roast options in three-packs for $2.95 and eight-packs for $7.49. A Decaffeinated Italian Roast variety is available in three-packs for $2.95 and seven-packs for $7.49.

The company also announced it will launch Starbucks Via Iced Coffee in late June in its stores and online. The variety will feature a blend of medium roast coffee made from 100 percent Arabica beans and lightly sweetened with pure cane sugar. Starbucks Via Iced Coffee will have 50 calories per 8-ounce serving.