Good news for those of you in Seattle and Chicago who just can’t wait to try Starbucks’ new instant coffee — you’re getting it first at $1 a packet. It’ll be available at Starbucks stores as well as Target and Costco starting in March.
The coffee, called “Starbucks Via Ready Brew,” apparently took 20 years to develop. Why bother, you ask? Well, the instant coffee market is bigger than you might think — accounting for 40% of the global coffee market. It’s less popular in the US than overseas, taking up only 9% of the US coffee market as opposed to 60% in Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United Kingdom.
CEO Howard Schultz defended the move to instant coffee:
“People are going to say this is off-brand for Starbucks,” he told a crowd of about 100 reporters and Wall Street analysts at an event in New York. “This is a long-term strategy. It’s not your mother’s instant coffee. The proof is in the cup.”
The company is offering free samples of the stuff on its website, if you dare.