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Starbucks to add flavors to instant coffee line

Starbucks will continue to expand its Via instant coffee line with the introduction of four new flavors this fall, the company said Monday.

The new flavors — vanilla, mocha, caramel and cinnamon spice — come nearly one year after Seattle-based Starbucks launched the Via Ready Brew product line, which has earned more than $100 million so far in sales worldwide.

“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,” said Annie Young-Scrivner, Starbucks' chief marketing officer. “The launch of Starbucks’ Via Flavored Coffees demonstrates our drive to inject innovation into the coffee category, deliver products our customers are looking for, and allows us to grow the business globally.”

In its third-quarter conference call in July, Starbucks chairman and chief executive Howard Schultz told investors that Via “is performing like few consumer products ever have.” The product is now available in about 37,000 distribution points throughout the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan.

In addition to the flavored instant coffees, Starbucks also is continuing to develop its line of flavored ground coffees for sale at retail outlets. According to the company, the introduction of both Via and the flavored ground coffee lines is part of an overall strategy to grow Starbucks’ consumer products and retail lines in order to enter into the $377 million domestic flavored-coffee market.

“Having two forms of flavored coffee, instant and ground, in different distribution channels meets the variety of ways customers drink their coffee, whether it is at home or on-the-go,” the company said.

At the end of its most recent quarter, Starbucks operated or licensed 16,737 stores, including 11,131 in the United States.

Contact Elissa Elan at [email protected].

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