Customer enthusiasm for Starbucks VIA™ expands to the grocery aisle

LONDON  (Food-News.net)  Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ:SBUX) announced that from today, Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew coffee will be sold in Tesco throughout the UK, following a highly successful introduction into Starbucks retail stores. With Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and other major retailers following later this year, Starbucks VIA™ will soon be available in over 2,000 grocery stores across the UK and will represent the first international grocery expansion for the product.

Starbucks has teamed up with Fine Food distributor R.H. Amar & Co Ltd to secure the grocery retail distribution of Starbucks VIA™ in the UK, so that consumers who have previously bought this product in its coffeehouses can now purchase it during their weekly shop. The launch will be supported through extensive in-store sampling, digital engagement and newspaper advertising.

Ray Conway, director, Starbucks Global Consumer Products, UK and Europe commented: “The expansion into grocery is one of the key elements of the company’s long-term strategy to extend high quality coffee beyond the coffeehouse. It is not just in the coffeehouse where customers are becoming more discerning about the quality of coffee, but is also evident in the grocery sector where a number of retailers are focusing on reinvigorating their premium coffee offer.”

Starbucks VIA™ took nearly 20 years to develop and marks a major breakthrough in quality and innovation – containing fresh microground coffee to bring a full-bodied taste and aroma to coffee made in an instant. Put simply, Starbucks aims to provide an instant coffee that tastes as good as its fresh filter coffee and is targeted at coffee lovers who want convenience but find conventional instant is falling short of their expectations.

Brian Waring, vice-president, Marketing & Category, Starbucks UK & Ireland commented: “There’s been a huge rise in the number of people drinking quality coffee in the UK, but while coffeehouses have become a national habit, instant hasn’t seen innovation in the last 50 years. We trialled VIA for a year before taking it nationwide and found customer response to be exceptional. We anticipate a similar response now that customers can also purchase Starbucks VIA™ where they buy their groceries.”

Starbucks whole bean coffees have been available in grocery stores across the UK since 2006, with Starbucks Discoveries® chilled coffees and Starbucks Doubleshot® espresso drinks launching in April 2010. Starbucks VIA™ will be sold in Tesco in single-serve packets in boxes of 3 or 7. It is available in both Starbucks® Italian Roast and Starbucks® Colombia and its RRP is £1.39 and £2.99. A decaf Italian Roast variety will be available in the 7-pack and will retail at £3.49.

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at www.starbucks.com.

About R.H. Amar & Co Ltd

R.H. Amar & Co Ltd is a leading full service importer and national distributor of fine foods in the UK, supplying 40 fine food brands across a dozen food categories. Founded in 1945 by Raoul Amar, today the company is led by Raoul’s son Henry, who is Chairman. The third generation of Amar is represented by Henry’s son Rob who is Vice Chairman. The company now has a turnover in excess of £40m and looks after suppliers from all over the world. R.H. Amar & Co Ltd has the experience and expertise to service all trade sectors, from Multiple Grocery retail, foodservice, Cash & Carry & wholesale to independent retailers. More info can be found at: www.rhamar.com



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