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Starbucks to Introduce Via Instant Coffee

If you thought Starbucks was uncouth to venture into the world of value meals, then wait until you hear its next supposed move. Ad Age is reporting that the struggling java chain is making plans to test soluble coffee in its stores.

Although Starbucks declined to comment on the launch, sources are saying plans to introduce the soluble coffee, to be called Via, will be announced next week. It could be sold in stand-alone cafés as early as next month. The company has reportedly been working on the instant product for years, hoping to market Via as a replica of Starbucks's store-bought brew.

It may seem out of place for a premium coffee chain like Starbucks to be competing with the likes of Folgers and Sanka, but considering the chain's desperate moves to revive dismal sales, I'm not entirely surprised. Do you see this as a smart move during a tough economy? Would you give Via a try?


LemonOut LemonOut 8 years
Totally agree Manoukia. I'm glad the Starbucks brand is getting its comeuppance, because it really is a pretty mediocre product. I don't know how much these steps they are taking are going to help - part of the allure of Starbucks was the "status" and upmarket appeal of it...By introducing value meals and instant coffee, they are really going downmarket, which is almost never good for the long-term image of the brand.
Manoukia Manoukia 8 years
The mediocre taste of their coffee never justified the ridiculous price, and I don't get why they managed to get such a big share of the coffee market. Instead of developing instant coffee, they should have spent time to improve the products that are already out there, and to replace all those awful artificial additives to make really good-tasting coffee beverages.
dootsie dootsie 8 years
I think that the world needs to recognize that it's not competitive to carry on trying to be a hundred things at once. If you want to be the McDonald's of coffee, lower the quality and drop the prices. If you want to be a little more exclusive and snobby, accept that you're not going to be able to have a store on every corner, you can't expect awesome profits all the time, and adjust your sales accordingly. People feel like they can't afford a $5 latte. The solution is to either suck it up and drop prices and some quality or to be strong and carry on until the waters are a little better-suited, perhaps sacrificing store hours.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
If I didn't already hate Starbucks' coffee enough already, this would push me over the edge. Seriously, instant coffee tastes like sewer water. I had to survive on it the first weekend I spent at my in-laws' house because they DIDN'T OWN A COFFEEMAKER! I was so desperate for real coffee that I drove to the gas station to get a cup of the real deal. The next time we visited, I brought my own coffeemaker and my own beans so I wouldn't have to drink the instant crap anymore.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
They stink.
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 8 years
I might try it once to see if I like the flavor but I'll probably stay with Medaglia D'Oro if I must use instant. Starbucks has become so mediocre that it will take decades for them to improve.
pioneers pioneers 8 years
Yes, but there is such thing as an unwise brand extension-- a lot of brands do it. The whole reason Starbucks is doing so poorly is that they've expanded from a corner premium coffee shop to just another mainstream brand. Once loyal customers who used to frequent Starbucks because it was higher end now have distaste with the fact that it's not really a specialty anymore. From a March 2008 AdBusters: "But after a decade of dominance, the Starbucks global monolith is crumbling. Last year, the corporate coffee giant saw stocks plunge, competition increase and general confidence in the company dwindle. Sir Paul McCartney, one of the highest profile musicians signed to the Starbucks’ Hear Music label, even admitted that he prefers his cup of joe from independent coffee shops. “I go to the café next door to one of the Starbucks, to my everlasting shame,” he told the media. It seems the more Starbucks expands, the more its mystique is falling apart. No longer caught up in the whirlwind of Starbucks hype, coffee drinkers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the homogenized, cookie- cutter culture that has taken over their neighborhoods. " I think the solution for Starbucks is to stop all the lower end stuff and focus on what made them so popular in the first place: Quality products in a comfortable atmosphere.
356UIK 356UIK 8 years
Dude. Starbucks, just get a freaking liquor license already and start selling hot toddies and irish coffees. Your sales will recover. Its that simple.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Ew. Instant coffee is nasty.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well - if it's true that it's been working on this for years, then i don't think that you can really consider it to be desperate - and i think that it's just another way that the brand is trying to figure out how to market the brand to 'main street america'. i know that a lot of people don't go to Sbucks because it's a premium brand, but if you're able to buy it at the store like folgers or any other instant, then it's a way to get more consumers. it's really just good business to expand a product line
pioneers pioneers 8 years
This is so desperate, it's sad. First serving oatmeal in the stores and now instant coffee?
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