Starbucks Instant Coffee To Invade Supermarkets, Airwaves

We haven’t actually tried the Starbucks instant coffee “Via” but apparently someone has because they are expanding it into “tens of thousands of supermarkets, mass merchandisers and other outlets in coming weeks,” reports the WSJ.

The WSJ credits the instant brew with turning around a sales decline for Starbucks.

Its debut in Starbucks coffee shops last fall helped reverse a year-long string of same-store sales declines at the company. But that success also reflected an aggressive push from baristas inside Starbucks coffee shops, where the company handed out samples and staged taste tests.

Without that advantage inside supermarkets, Starbucks plans to distribute coupons, purchase in-store displays and hire people to hand out samples. It will also unleash a larger television and print advertising campaign than what it launched amid Via’s coffee-shop debut last autumn. “And that was one of the biggest marketing campaigns in Starbucks history,” said Terry Davenport, Starbucks senior vice president of marketing and advertising.

It always seemed a little weird to us to buy instant coffee at a place where they sell regular coffee, so we never gave it a try.

Do you like Via? Will you buy it at the grocery store?

Starbucks Mounts Major Grocery Push [WSJ via Starbucks Gossip]