News Brief

Starbucks Entering Energy-Drink Market

Among other news, Starbucks announced at its March 21 annual shareholder meeting that it will jump into the $8 billion energy-drink market with Starbucks Refreshers.

The beverages, to combine fruit juices and green coffee extract, will be sold in U.S. supermarkets.

Starbucks also announced a new deal expanding its relationship with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

Although Starbucks will soon introduce its own branded single-serve espresso machine, Verismo, it had confirmed that it will continue to supply Starbucks-branded K-Cups for existing Green Mountain brewing systems.

Now, the two companies have announced that Starbucks will also supply Starbucks-branded single-serve coffee packs for Green Mountain's new Vue brewer.

On a big-picture basis, Starbucks reported that it expects China to become its second-largest market, next to the U.S., by 2014, and plans to have 1,500+ locations there by 2015.

Stores in Japan should reach 1,000 by 2013, and stores in South Korea will reach 700 by 2016, as Starbucks also continues aggressive expansion in Thailand and Indonesia.

This year, the company will add 300 net new stores, and remodel 1,700 locations.

It will also add a fifth plant, in Georgia, and expand its South Carolina roasting facility.   

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