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Coffee City

Melissa Allison follows the world's biggest coffee-shop chain and other Seattle caffeine purveyors.

April 19, 2010 at 6:44 AM

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Photos of Starbucks' instant coffee launch in Japan

Posted by Melissa Allison

P1060648.jpgStarbucks fan Noboru Sakamoto, who has been known to vacation in Seattle because of Starbucks, sent pictures of the launch last week of its instant coffee in Japan, where the product is called Via Coffee Essence.

The roll-out includes the sale of Via mugs, tumblers and teddy bears, or "bearistas."

Simultaneously, Japan's All Nippon Airways began serving Via on flights, like United Airlines did when the instant coffee rolled out in the U.S. last fall. U.K.-based easyJet also serves Via.

P1060684.jpgStarbucks CEO Howard Schultz expects Via sales to top $1 billion, he told Bloomberg during the Via launch in Japan.

Bloomberg reported that instant coffee in Japan represents about $2.3 billion of the $19.6 billion global market, based on research by Euromonitor International. The U.S. instant market is a third of Japan's.

Thank you, Noboru Sakamoto, for the photos!

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