This fall marks the beginning of a new era for Starbucks as they’ve introduced a new line of instant coffee to the market, VIA. The Starbucks on campus carries VIA and last month they celebrated the product launch with a “taste challenge.”
The challenge tested whether customers can tell the difference between Starbucks brewed coffee and Starbucks VIA, a “ready brew” product, $10 for 12 servings.
The results were mixed on campus but as a whole but nationally the market embraced the new product. It is still unclear whether those who participated in the taste challenge had the same overall positive reaction that test cities experienced.
Starbucks is clearly banking on this new product, hoping that it will help the company move into the instant coffee enterprise. They’ve made huge investments in advertising, which includes television ads, the taste test and visible window panels throughout stores.
Starbucks has seen the success of VIA in test cities Seattle, London and Chicago, according to a recent press release, and the hope is to emulate this performance across the nation. It is still unclear how buyers will react to instant coffee at a high price compared to its competitors.
Starbucks also plans on marketing a decaffeinated version of the on-the-go beverages for the holiday season.