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Starbucks Taking A Shot At Energy, Juice Drinks


Energy drink makers in the U.S. will now be given a run for their money with a new competitor coming in to target the $8 billion U.S. energy drink market. Starbucks, America's iconic coffee brand, has launched a new line of "Refreshers" coffee-based beverages.

Starbucks will be the first to bring green coffee extract innovation to customers on a global scale. The brand is expected to take on well known energy drink brands such as Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar.

"The energy category is the fastest growing category within measured CPG channels at $8 billion, up 16 percent over the last year. The launch of Starbucks Refreshers beverages continues to support our growth strategy to innovate with new products, enter new categories, and expand into new channels of distribution," said Annie Young-Scrivner, global chief marketing officer for Starbucks and president, Tazo Tea.

Starbucks Refreshers, as it will be known, will be real fruit-flavored ready-to-drink carbonated energy drinks made with a virtually flavorless extract of green, unroasted coffee, and less caffeine. The drink will reportedly contain a mild caffeine content, about 40 to 55 milligrams or two-thirds the caffeine in an espresso and one-third that of an 8-ounce coffee.

The lightly sparkling 'Refreshers' will be available in select retail and grocery stores in three flavors: raspberry pomegranate, orange melon and strawberry lemonade. It will come in 12-ounce cans and contain 60 calories.

By the end of April, Starbucks Refreshers will be available at more than 160,000 retail and grocery stores in the U.S.

In another move last week, Starbucks also opened the first store of its new Evolution Fresh juice bar chain near Seattle. The store serves fresh fruit and vegetable juices as well as meals and will be seen as a leader in the growing $3.4 billion cold-crafted juice category.

After cold pressing and squeezing the juice, an innovative technology called High Pressure Processing (HPP) is used to retain more of the flavors, vitamins and nutrients of raw fruits and vegetables.

The store will introduce customers to a unique, premium juice and food experience by combining fresh and natural ingredients to create offerings such as wraps, salads, soups and more. Evolution Fresh plans to build on its product line-up with new seasonal and core juices.

This comes about four months after it acquired Evolution Fresh, Inc. for $30 million to foray into the $50 billion health food sector.

Starbucks is now in the process of executing its strategic expansion and growth strategy by entering new territories. Starbucks also is said to be expanding a test of beer and wine sales in its cafes this year.

Starbucks' new growth strategy and the healthy offerings will surely put it a step ahead of rivals like Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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