Starbucks® K-Cup® Portion Packs Build Company’s Share Of Single-Cup Category

Starbucks Corp. announced that Starbucks® coffee K-Cup® Portion Packs for the Keurig® Single Cup Brewing system will be available throughout grocery stores and specialty retailers in the U.S. starting in November 2011. Starbucks is the exclusive licensed super-premium coffee brand for the Keurig® Brewer, which is produced and sold by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.

“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,” said Jeff Hansberry, president of Starbucks Global Consumer Products Group in a prepared statement.

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.

“We plan to build Starbucks systemwide sales of K-Cup into a $1 billion business over time,” added Hansberry, who noted that Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew surpassed $200 million in system-wide (Starbucks retail and grocery) sales in its first year.

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.

“Starbucks 40 years of expertise in sourcing and roasting the world’s finest coffee beans allows us to deliver the aroma, body, and rich flavor of Starbucks coffee in a K-Cup,” said Hansberry. “Now, coffee lovers will have another way to easily enjoy a perfect cup of Starbucks coffee at home.”

Overall coffee category growth in the U.S. last year was driven primarily by single-cup coffee sales of nearly $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.