Starbucks Corp. and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. announced a strategic relationship for the manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of Starbucks® and Tazo® tea branded K-Cup® portion packs for use in GMCR's Keurig® Single-Cup brewing system. The new relationship will provide owners of Keurig Single-Cup Brewers with the additional choice afforded by having Starbucks branded super-premium coffees available for their brewers, and furthers Starbucks stated goals of expanding its presence in premium single-cup coffee, making its premium coffees conveniently available to consumers whenever, wherever and however they want it.
Starbucks is the exclusive, licensed super-premium coffee brand produced by GMCR for the Keurig Single-Cup brewing system. Starbucks and GMCR plan to make Starbucks K-Cup portion packs available through food, drug, mass, club, specialty and department store retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada beginning in the fall of 2011. The companies expect to expand Starbucks K-Cup portion pack and Keurig Single-Cup Brewing system distribution to Starbucks stores and to make Starbucks K-Cup portion packs available through GMCR's consumer-direct websites: www.greenmountaincoffee.com and www.keurig.com, and Starbucks consumer-direct website: www.starbucks.com beginning in 2012.
"Today's announcement is a win for Starbucks, a win for GMCR and most importantly a win for consumers who want to enjoy Starbucks coffee with the Keurig Single-Cup Brewing system," said Howard Schultz, president, ceo and chairman, Starbucks Corp., in a prepared statement. "Our research shows that more than 80 percent of current Starbucks customers in the U.S. do not yet own a single-cup brewer and our relationship will enable Starbucks customers to enjoy perfectly brewed Starbucks® coffee at home, one quality cup at a time."
"We are proud to be the exclusive super-premium licensed coffee brand produced by GMCR for the Keurig Single-Cup Brewing system, and are looking forward to working with our colleagues at GMCR to further accelerate growth in single-serve coffee," added Jeff Hansberry, president, Starbucks Global Consumer Products Group.
"This relationship is yet another example of GMCR's strategy of aligning with the strongest coffee brands to support a range of consumer choice and taste profiles in our innovative Keurig Single-Cup Brewing system," said Lawrence J. Blanford, GMCR president and CEO. "Starbucks loyal consumers will soon be able to choose, brew and enjoy their favorite Starbucks coffee in their own homes through the quality, convenience and consistent preparation of the Keurig Single-Cup Brewing system."
Overall coffee category growth in the U.S. last year was driven primarily by single-cup coffee sales of nearly $2 billion. Starbucks expanded its presence in the category last year through the introduction of Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew. The introduction of Starbucks coffee and Tazo tea K-Cup portion packs reflects Starbucks strategy of continuing to grow its presence in single-cup coffee, and enables Starbucks to better and more conveniently serve its global customers wherever they are and however and whenever they want their Starbucks coffee.
GMCR's Keurig Single-Cup brewers for in-home and office use utilize patented, innovative brewing and single-cup technology to deliver a fresh-brewed, perfect cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa every time at just the touch of a button. Brewers with Keurig Brewed® technology were the top five selling coffeemakers in the U.S. on a dollar basis for the period of October through December 2010 and represented an estimated 49 percent of total coffeemaker dollar sales for that period according to The NPD Group.