↑ Scroll to top

Starbucks to Jolt Consumers with Refreshers Energy Drink

Published: March 22, 2012 | 10:18 am
Text size: -A +A

The Starbucks siren is about to butt heads with the Red Bull.

Eager to dip its influential — if not omnipresent — cup into the $8 billion energy drink category, the world’s largest coffee chain announced at its annual meeting in Seattle that it plans to roll out in April a new line of “natural” energy drinks, Starbucks Refreshers, to be sold at grocers, convenience stores and Starbucks stores.

The fruity, carbonated drink that’s high in antioxidants uses unroasted, green coffee extract for the energy boost — but has no coffee taste. The beverage, with flavors ranging from Raspberry Pomegranate to Strawberry Lemonade, will sell for $1.99 for a 12-ounce, 60-calorie can.

“Starbucks is firing on all cylinders,” CEO Howard Schultz told 2,000 shareholders. “We are now creating lots of Starbucks products to live outside of our stores.”

The move comes at a time the company (SBUX) is barreling into the multibillion-dollar consumer product goods segment. Starbucks executives say sales from this emerging side of the business will someday match sales from its retail stores. Starbucks just opened its first Evolution Fresh juicery in Bellevue, Wash., with plans to roll it out at grocers nationally over the next year.

The Starbucks new product machine is in overdrive. Energy drinks are the fastest-growing niche in the beverage business, up 16% over the past year, says John Sicher, publisher of Beverage Digest. “This is a very innovative product,” Sicher says. “There is huge consumer interest in energy drinks.”

Never mind that some nutritionists have knocked energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar for their caffeine and calories.

Each Refreshers has 40 to 55 milligrams of caffeine — two-thirds the caffeine of a shot of espresso and one-third that of an 8-ounce coffee.

Red Bull rolls out Red Bull Total Zero, with no carbs, sugar or calories in April, says spokesman Paul Yoffe, who won’t comment on Starbucks.

By late April, Starbucks Refreshers will be sold at 160,000 grocers. By July, made-to-order versions will be sold at Starbucks stores. But hold the caramel drizzle, please.



VN:F [1.9.10_1130]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
More posts in category: Local Business News
  • 3 Swiss Bankers Accused of Helping Taxpayers Cheat the IRS
  • Onishenko Promises that Georgian Wine will be back to Russia
  • Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline defies US
  • IFC Hosts Forum in Georgia to Improve Food Safety in Europe and Central Asia