Starbucks’ K-Cups to hit grocery shelves in November 2011

Starbucks announced on 30 August that their Portion Packs for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' Keurig Single Cup Brewing system will be available throughout grocery stores and specialty retailers in the U.S. starting in November 2011.  Jeff Hansberry, President of Starbucks Global Consumer Products Group, says that Starbucks plans to turn the sales of K-Cup into a US$1 billion business over time, noting that Starbucks VIA Ready Brew surpassed US$200 million in system-wide (Starbucks retail and grocery) sales in its first year. “We are excited to expand our presence in the multi-billion dollar single-cup coffee category with the introduction of Starbucks coffee K-Cup Portion Packs, which offer a convenient at-home brewing solution utilizing the popular Keurig Brewer,” says Hansberry.  Starbucks coffee K-Cup Portion Packs will launch in food, drug, mass, club, specialty, and department store retailers just in time for the holidays. Starbucks coffee K-Cup Portion Packs will be available in Canada CPG channels in March 2012 and through Starbucks and GMCR’s direct-to-consumer websites in August 2012. Availability at Starbucks retail stores in the U.S. and Canada is targeted for later in 2012. Starbucks coffee K-Cup Portion Packs will be available in Starbucks most popular coffee varieties, including Breakfast Blend, Pike Place Roast, House Blend, Sumatra, and French Roast. In addition, two selections of Tazo tea will be available in K-Cup Portion Packs: Tazo tea Awake and Tazo tea Zen. Starbucks coffee K-Cup Portion Packs will be available in 10-count, 16-count, and 54-count packs. Tazo tea K-Cup Portion Packs will be available in 10-count and 16-count. Overall coffee category growth in the U.S. last year was driven primarily by single-cup coffee sales of nearly US$2 billion. In addition to the introduction of Starbucks coffee and Tazo tea K-Cup Portion Packs, Starbucks premium single-cup strategy led to an alliance last March with Courtesy Products, the nation's leading provider of in-room coffee service to hotels. This will extend the Starbucks brand as the exclusive super-premium coffee offered in 500,000 premium and luxury hotel rooms in the U.S.

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