The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that Starbucks Corp. said its Via instant coffee product will be available nationally on Wednesday. And to overcome the negative image of instant coffee, the Seattle coffee giant said it will stage taste competitions between Via and its fresh-brewed coffee next week.
Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) announced the national expansion last month, after the product was initially introduced in Seattle and in Illinois. Starbucks said its Via Ready Brew product is made by adding water to a single-serve packet. The packets will be sold in books of three for $2.95 or boxes of 12 for $9.95. Worldwide, there is a $17 billion market for instant coffee, according to Starbucks.
“We’re so confident that you won’t be able to tell the difference between Starbucks Via and our brewed coffee, we’re inviting customers into our stores to see if they can tell the difference,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and CEO, in a statement.