Starbucks is launching a new cold brew line in grocery stores
By Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN Business
(CNN) -- Starbucks wants you to buy more of its coffee at the grocery store. So it's offering up something more on-trend than the bottled Frappucinos of years past.
The coffee company's new line, Cold & Crafted, is available nationally in retail locations on Wednesday. The line is launching with three flavors: Coffee Sweetened Black, Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Vanilla, and Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Mocha. Each bottle, which costs under $3, is between 50 and 90 calories each, and contains between 10 and 15 grams of sugar per bottle
Cold & Craftedwas designed with a key insight in mind: Most households haven't tried ready-to-drink coffee, Starbucks found.
"When we look at ... the proportion of consumers that are buying other beverages versus buying ready-to-drink coffee, it certainly leaves a lot of room to think about: What are other needs that aren't being fulfilled within the category today?" said Rebekah Lyle, vice president of North American channel development at Starbucks. The company found that some people may pass over bottled coffee because they think current options are too sugary or high in calories.
Starbucks is already the leader in the ready-to-drink coffee market, which includes canned and bottled coffee sold in stores. The sector has been growing in recent years and especially as more people drink coffee at home during the pandemic.
Though Starbucks stores are the company's main business, it has been in the ready-to-drink space with its partner PepsiCo for decades. Last year, sales of Starbucks ready-to-drink coffee products that were part of the partnership grew 14%.
But the landscape has gotten more competitive.
Chobani launched a line of refrigerated, ready-to-drink coffees in January. Dunkin' sells its milky iced coffee. Beloved smaller brands like La Colombe have their own offerings. And others are vying for customers with their own spin on ready-to-drink coffee, like Kitu Super Coffee which is optimized for a keto diet and Java Monster, a coffee/energy drink mashup.
Starbucks still has the majority of the ready-to-drink coffee market, but its hold may be starting to slip: According to Euromonitor International, Starbucks held 61% of the ready-to-drink coffee market in 2020, down from 63% in 2019.
As competition continues to heat up in the space, Starbucks is confident that its expertise will continue to set it apart.
"One of the things that puts Starbucks in a really unique position versus our competition is that we do have our cafes to be able to leverage insights from," said Lyle. "So as we look at what's working within our cafes, how do we bring that innovation to life in the right way in the ready-to-drink segment."
It launched ready-to-drink nitro cold brew at retail last yearfollowing the success of the beverage in stores, Lyle said. On Wednesday, Starbucks alsoexpanded its line of canned nitro cold brew to include a dark cocoa sweet cream option and launched a ready-to-drink version of its vanilla sweet cream cold brew.
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