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Coffee City

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

May 3, 2010 at 12:11 PM

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Starbucks rolls instant coffee into grocery stores, says sweetened version on the way

Posted by Melissa Allison

In its quest to eventually sell more than $1 billion in instant coffee, Starbucks has blanketed the U.K. and Japan with 0.12-ounce packets of Via Ready Brew, and now they are rolling into grocery stores.

Starbucks said last fall that it would launch Via in grocery stores this year, and reminded investors about the roll-out in subsequent conference calls. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reiterated the plan, and today a press release says Via is in 25,000 grocery, mass and drugstores including Kroger, Wal-Mart and Safeway. It was already in Target, Costco, REI and on United Airlines.

Starbucks also said it will introduce an iced coffee version of Via, which is lightly sweetened, in late June. One 0.925-ounce packet will make a 16-ounce drink, which fits nicely in a water bottle if you're on the run. Five packets will cost $5.95, a better deal than regular Via, which costs about the same per packet but makes just 8 ounces of coffee at a time.

Starbucks rolls instant coffee into grocery stores, says sweetened version on the way http://bit.ly/cQ0eduless than a minute ago via web

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